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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 12:45 GMT
Jail for former Malawi minister
Former Malawi Education Minister Yusuf Mwawa has been sentenced to five years in jail for fraud and corruption.

He is the first official convicted since President Bingu wa Mutharika launched an anti-corruption campaign.

He was sacked last year after being accused of using $1,500 of public funds to pay expenses for his wedding at a hotel in Blantyre.

His wife, Diana, burst into tears when the sentence was read out. The court was packed with his supporters.

His conviction last month means he loses his seat in parliament, which he won on the ticket of the former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF).

His lawyer said he would appeal and had already repaid the money.

He collapsed in prison last week following a bout of hypertension and diabetes.

The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre says Mwawa looked calm as the sentence was announced.

President Mutharika has left the UDF, saying the party did not support his drive against corruption.


SEE ALSO:
Malawian judge halts VP sacking
10 Feb 06 |  Africa
Malawi president 'a bad choice'
05 Apr 05 |  Africa
Malawi mayor charged with fraud
03 Dec 04 |  Africa
Profile: Bingu wa Mutharika
23 May 04 |  Africa


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