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Ex-Xinjiang chairman sentenced to life for graft

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-03 09:45
Nur Bekri, former chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, stands in court in Shenyang, Liaoning province, on Dec 2, 2019. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Nur Bekri, former head of the National Energy Administration and ex-chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, was sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery by a court in Liaoning province on Monday.

All of his private property was ordered confiscated, and what he gained from bribes and related interests will be turned over to the State treasury, according to the ruling by the Shenyang Intermediate People's Court.

Nur Bekri said he would not appeal to a higher court.

The court said that from 1998 to 2018, Nur Bekri used his positions-as head of the energy administration, deputy chief of the Urumqi committee of the Communist Party of China in Xinjiang, mayor of Urumqi and chairman of the region-to help others obtain construction projects, promote products and receive preferential policies.

In return, he received bribes worth more than 79.1 million yuan ($11.5 million), the ruling said.

The court said Nur Bekri's behavior constituted the crime of bribery under the Chinese Criminal Law, and the amount of his bribes was extremely large.

"But given that the defendant confessed to some other criminal facts that supervision commission officials had not learned of before interrogations, pleaded guilty with a positive attitude and surrendered ill-gotten gains, we made a decision to leniently punish him," the court said in the ruling.

Nur Bekri, 58, joined the CPC in 1982 and started his career working for Xinjiang University a year later.

He was named deputy Party chief and mayor of Urumqi in 1998, and became the chairman of the region in 2008. Six years later, he was appointed deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission and head of the National Energy Administration.

In September 2018, he was placed under investigation by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission for "serious violations of Party discipline and laws".

In March, he was expelled from the Party and removed from public office, and in May he was charged with bribery by Shenyang prosecutors.

His case was heard at the intermediate court in July.

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