Greek ex-transport minister given 4-year suspended jail sentence over fake car plates

A former transport minister in Greece has received a four-year suspended sentence for driving an uninsured luxury car with fake license plates in an apparent tax dodge.

An Athens court convicted Michalis Liapis of forgery on Monday and fined him 3,000 euros ($4,100) for failing to insure the SUV. The former conservative politician has acknowledged that he "erred."

Liapis, 62, was arrested this month after allegedly ignoring a stop sign. Police said he had given his license plates to tax authorities to avoid road tax and other charges, and was illegally using copies of the originals.

The incident caused a public outcry in Greece, which is struggling through a severe financial crisis. Liapis, who has retired from politics, belongs to one of the country's most prominent conservative families.