Indian court jails powerful politician for embezzling funds

An Indian court has sentenced a powerful regional politician to 3 1/2 years in prison on a second conviction of embezzling state government funds as a top elected official two decades ago.

The court found Laloo Prasad Yadav and 15 others guilty of a criminal conspiracy to defraud the Bihar state government of 8.45 million rupees ($130,000). Judge Shivpal Singh on Saturday sentenced all the convicts to prison terms ranging from 3 1/2 years to seven years.

Yadav's conviction will be challenged in an appeals court, according to his son Tej Pratap Yadav.

Yadav already is serving a five-year prison sentence on a conviction in a related case for fraudulently withdrawing 378 million rupees ($5.8 million) from the Bihar state government treasury for fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle.