28 Oct 2008

US senator guilty of corruption charges

3:52 pm on 28 October 2008

United States senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was found guilty on Monday on seven charges of corruption and faces up to five years' jail on each charge.

Stevens, 84, was found guilty of lying on Senate disclosure forms to hide more than $US250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from the head of Alaska oil services company VECO Corp.

Stevens had maintained his innocence.

Despite facing as much as five years in prison on each charge, Stevens may receive much less prison time or simply get probation under federal sentencing guidelines.

A Republican member of the Senate for 40 years, Stevens was a popular figure in Alaska before the trial, but is now in a tight election battle with Anchorage's mayor, Mark Begich.

He was the first sitting senator to go on trial since 1981, when New Jersey Democrat Harrison Williams was convicted for bribery.