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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 16:18 GMT
Republican Ney sentenced to jail
Bob Ney arriving for his sentencing in January 2007
Ney was the first lawmaker to be prosecuted over Abramoff
A former Republican congressman linked to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for corruption.

Bob Ney's sentence was longer than the prosecution had recommended, the judge said, because the former lawmaker had violated the public trust.

He will be on probation for two years after his term. He must pay a $6,000 (3,000) fine and undergo counselling.

Ney had pleaded guilty to trading political favours for money and gifts.

He also admitted conspiracy and making false statements.

On Friday, he apologised to his family, friends and former constituents.

He reiterated his dependence on alcohol, saying he had battled "the demons of addiction".

First prosecution

Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said his alcoholism was no excuse.

She barred him from drinking alcohol during his probation and ordered him to follow an alcohol rehabilitation programme while he serves his sentence in federal prison.

Ney is the first lawmaker to be prosecuted in connection with the Abramoff scandal, which helped the Democrats seize control of Congress in November.

He resigned his seat in Congress days before the elections.

Before the Abramoff scandal erupted, Ney was perhaps best known internationally for his role in renaming French fries "freedom fries" in the Congressional cafeteria due to US anger at Paris's refusal to support the invasion of Iraq.

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