Clinton fined $90,000

PRESIDENT CLINTON'S false testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky will cost him $90,000 (pounds 56,000) a federal judge ruled yesterday, imposing the first ever court penalty on an incumbent president. But the sum is considerably less than the $500,000 claimed as costs by lawyers for Paula Jones, the plaintiff in the case.

In her order, released yesterday in the Arkansas capital, Little Rock, Judge Susan Webber Wright wrote: "Sanctions are being imposed, not only to deter others who might consider emulating the President's misconduct, but to compensate the plaintiff by requiring that the President pay her any reasonable fees and expenses caused by his wilful failure to obey this court's discovery orders." Mr Clinton has agreed to pay.

The Judge instructed him to pay a total of $89,484 to defray legal expenses incurred by Paula Jones in her attempt to sue the President for sexual harassment. The case itself was dismissed for lack of evidence before it came to court , but Ms Webber Wright ruled last April that Mr Clinton had been in contempt of court when he denied under oath a relationship with Ms Lewinsky and would face a financial penalty.

Yesterday the judge also ordered Mr Clinton to pay $1,202 for the expense of her trip to Washington to hear his testimony at the office of his lawyer.

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