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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:18 AM

Judges: Ex-Irish leader Ahern took secret payments

Source: AP/Google News

Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern received 209,779 ($276,000) in secret payments while in office and repeatedly told lies about this under oath, a mammoth fact-finding investigation ruled Thursday in a long-awaited verdict.

The three judges of the Mahon tribunal stopped short of finding Ahern guilty of corruption, because they found no evidence that Ahern gave favors to any of his donors of cash when he was finance minister in the 1990s.

They did find two other former lawmakers in Ahern's Fianna Fail party, including former Cabinet minister and European Union commissioner Padraig Flynn, guilty of corrupt acts.

Ahern, whose often bizarre and implausible 2007 testimony enraptured the nation, denied doing anything wrong but resigned from office in 2008 after 11 years in power. He offered no response to Thursday's findings.

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jGGHgYrPLbJQyzARyAF6XzVYvmfA?docId=75ec12bf4bfa4995b889f2786797c26a

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