Indian court jails powerful politician for embezzling funds

A powerful Indian politician has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for embezzling 37 million rupees ($570,000) from government treasury to buy fictitious medicines and cattle fodder.

Judge Shiv Pal Singh on Saturday also convicted 18 former Bihar state officials, contractors and suppliers in the case.

A former top elected official in the state, Laloo Prasad Yadav was also fined 6 million rupees ($92,307). He and others can challenge the conviction in an appeals court.

Yadav already has been convicted three times in related cases. He is currently in prison and barred from contesting elections.

Corruption is endemic in Indian politics. But courts are now expediting trials of politicians accused of crimes like murder, frauds and extortion.