Irish Ex-Premier Lied About Secret Payments: Judges

A corruption inquiry by a judicial panel in Ireland has found corruption was "endemic and systemic" in former prime minister Bertie Ahern's government. Ahern was one of the architects of a housing boom whose collapse worsened the economic crisis of 2008. His party, Fianna Fail, was voted out of power last year. In probing the links between pols and developers under his leadership, the judicial panel found Ahern was secretly paid — and lied about having paid — at least €209,779 ($276,000) while finance minister in the late 1990s. It also found two former top lawmakers in Fianna Fail, plus 11 other lesser lawmakers, guilty of corruption. Ahern issued a long rebuttal Thursday night, on which even his own party cast a wary eye. The party's leadership said it was expelling him.

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