Judge Michael Radasztics presiding over the trial announced the sentence before reading his ruling in detail.

The case focused on whether Kurz, 37, was truthful about his role in the appointment of executives for newly created state holding company OBAG when he was chancellor. The appointments were formally his finance minister's responsibility.

Kurz testified to a parliamentary commission of inquiry in 2020 that he was "involved in the sense of informed" in the appointments but did not play an active role.

Prosecutors alleged that Kurz was in fact calling the shots and produced evidence including text messages and testimony by a star witness - former Kurz loyalist Thomas Schmid, the first head of OBAG, who has turned state witness. Kurz denied the charge.

The former chancellor, wearing a dark suit and light blue shirt, told the court before the ruling that the prosecution's accusations had made him feel "terrible" and "helpless" and his defence team repeated in their summing up that he did not commit perjury.

Kurz' then coalition partner, the Greens, forced him from office in 2021 when prosecutors placed him and nine other people under investigation in a separate case on suspicion of corruption. Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to bring charges in that potentially far more damaging case.

Kurz denies all wrongdoing.

Kurz has now left politics and the conservatives have slid to second or third place in the polls, making it likely they will lose seats in a parliamentary election this year. That has prompted speculation among his supporters that he could eventually return to lead the party and reverse its fortunes.

Polls, however, show a clear majority of Austrians say they do not want that. Kurz says he is happy in his new career as a businessman.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Cynthia Osterman)

By Francois Murphy