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Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 18:57 GMT 19:57 UK
US congressman agrees guilty plea
Ohio Congressman Bob Ney
Mr Ney said he took full responsibility for his actions
A top US Republican lawmaker has agreed to plead guilty in a high-profile case involving corruption and bribery.

Bob Ney is the first lawmaker to be charged over the lobbying efforts of Jack Abramoff, who has already pleaded guilty to bribery.

Prosecutors say he took gifts and trips at Mr Abramoff's expense in exchange for backing laws to help his clients.

Mr Ney announced last month that he would not stand for re-election after 12 years representing his district.

In a statement on Friday, he admitted having made "serious mistakes".

He added that he had realised he was dependent on alcohol, but said he accepted "full responsibility" for his actions.

He said the agreement he reached with federal prosecutors on Wednesday would enable him to accept responsibility for what he had done and to "start repairing the damage" he had caused.

Gambling and golf

Mr Ney's former chief of staff Neil Volz pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of conspiring to corrupt Mr Ney and other members of Congress.

Jack Abramoff

Mr Volz went to work with Mr Abramoff after leaving Congress.

Unconfirmed reports say Mr Ney has admitted to accepting trips to play golf in Scotland, to gamble in New Orleans, and to holiday in New York, all entirely or partially at Mr Abramoff's expense.

He may be best known internationally for leading the House effort to rename French fries as "freedom fries" in the wake of French opposition to the US-led war in Iraq.

Mr Abramoff pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to bribe public officials and to other influence-peddling crimes.

The former Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Tom DeLay, has also said he is stepping down in the face of links to Mr Abramoff.

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