Buckingham Palace official jailed over bribes for contracts

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A former British royal official has been sentenced to five years in prison for taking more than 100,000 pounds ($130,000) in bribes to award contracts for work at Buckingham Palace and other royal residences.

For more than a decade, Ronald Harper was deputy property manager for palaces in London and for Windsor Castle, west of the city. Prosecutors said Harper took gifts or money from the directors of companies that were then given contracts for taxpayer-funded work on the buildings.

He was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to make corrupt payments after trials at London's Southwark Crown Court in June and August.

While passing sentence Wednesday, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith told Harper that "your betrayal of your colleagues' trust and your lack of remorse at what you did are both remarkable."