Ex-railways minister found guilty

Updated: 2013-07-09 07:02

(Xinhua and chinadaily)

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60-year-old Liu sentenced to death suspended for two years for bribery

Former railways minister Liu Zhijun was sentenced to death, suspended for two years, on Monday for bribery and abuse of power.

Ex-railways minister found guilty

The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court deprived the 60-year-old of his political rights for life and confiscated all his personal property for taking bribes. Liu was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for abuse of power, according to the court verdict.

Qian Lieyang, Liu's lawyer, said after the judgment that they will not appeal to a higher court, but he declined to comment further.

Ex-railways minister found guilty

Former railways minister Liu Zhijun stands in the dock in a courthouse in Beijing on Monday. Liu was given a suspended death sentence for "especially huge" bribe-taking, becoming the highest-ranking official to be punished for corruption since China's new leaders took office. Xinhua

The court found that from 1986 to 2011, Liu took advantage of his positions as an official of local railway bureaus as well as the now-defunct Ministry of Railways to help 11 people, including Shao Liping and Ding Yuxin, win promotions and project deals. Liu accepted 64.6 million yuan ($10.53 million) in bribes from them during that period.

In addition, when he was railways minister, Liu helped Ding and her relatives win contracts for cargo transportation and railway construction.

Liu also helped Shao and Ding acquire shares in a bullet train wheel set company, and assisted with enterprise financing by breaking regulations and showing favoritism. This allowed Ding and her family to reap huge profits. The court held that Liu's accepted bribes involved a huge amount of money with especially serious circumstances.

His abuse of power had caused huge losses in public assets, violating the rights and interests of the State and the people, the court said.

The court confirmed that Liu confessed to his crimes, and provided further clues of the bribery that investigators had not known.

Most of the bribes and the majority of the economic losses caused by his abuse of power have been recovered.

Liu's crime of accepting bribes, which violated the integrity of a State official's duty behavior and undermined the State functionary's reputation, should be given the death penalty. However, because of his admission of guilt and repentance, Liu was given the death penalty with a reprieve, the court said.

The court said that although most economic losses have been recovered, leniency will not be given regarding Liu's abuse of power, as it is especially serious in terms of both circumstances and consequences.

A death sentence with a two-year reprieve is usually converted to a long jail term in China if the defendant is not found guilty of more crimes during the period.

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