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Polish Anti-corruption Chief Faces Charges

The head of Poland's anti-corruption office was charged with abuse of power Tuesday after a sting operation in which he encouraged his agents to fabricate documents and offer bribes, prosecutors said.

The official, Mariusz Kaminski, said the charge was baseless and he would prove his innocence if the case went to trial.

Officials have said that undercover agents offered two businessmen 3 million zlotys ($1 million) to participate in a sting operation in which they would use their close ties with Agriculture Ministry officials to get farmland improperly rezoned for development.

The then-agriculture minister was fired after two officials at his ministry were arrested in the operation.

If convicted, Kaminski could face up to eight years in prison.

Kaminski's office was created in 2006 by the government of then-Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is now Poland's opposition leader. It is supposed to root out corruption in national and local government.

Poland's sports minister resigned Monday over allegations he illegally tried to influence a new gambling law.

Miroslaw Drzewiecki announced his decision to step down at a news conference after Rzeczpospolita newspaper last week published transcripts of tapped telephone conversations in which a gambling parlor owner is allegedly heard lobbying a governing party lawmaker to block plans for casino taxes and mentions Drzewiecki as someone who could help.

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