Ex Indian CM Laloo Prasad found guilty of embezzlement

06:01 PM | 23 Dec, 2017
Ex Indian CM Laloo Prasad found guilty of embezzlement
NEW DELHI - An Indian court on Saturday convicted a former chief minister of the eastern state of Bihar a second time for embezzling state government funds.

Judge Shivpal Singh held Lalu Prasad Yadav, 69, guilty of stealing millions from government funds. His prison term will be announced on Jan. 3, the Times of India reported.

Lalu was among the 15 of the 22 accused found guilty by a special CBI court in Ranchi for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1994 and 1996.

In 2013, another court sentenced him to five years in prison for fraudulently withdrawing 378 million rupees ($5.8 million) from the Bihar state government treasury for fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle over a period of 20 years. Yadav has been barred from contesting elections.

Yadav spent two months in jail in 2013 before he got bail from the Supreme Court as he challenged his conviction. The court decision is awaited.

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On Saturday, soon after the judge convicted Yadav in Patna, the capital of Bihar state, police took him to a local prison.

Seven of the accused, including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted, reported ToI.

His Rashtriya Janata Dal (National People’s Party) spokesman, Sanjay Jha, said his attorneys would challenge his conviction in an appeals court.

Soon after his conviction, Yadav tweeted “In (the) end Truth will win.”

He also said that Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and their likes wouldn't have been treated in the same manner if they had "failed in their efforts".

The Supreme Court order is part of its attempt to clean up India’s electoral system by making it more difficult for politicians with criminal cases to contest elections.

Indian lawmakers are now barred from running in elections if they are found guilty of offenses carrying a jail term of at least two years.