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Former political advisor receives 17-year prison sentence for bribery

By YANG ZEKUN | | Updated: 2023-12-13 20:57
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Xue Heng, a former senior political advisor in Northeast China's Liaoning province, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for bribery and influence peddling, with the illicit gains amounting to 135 million yuan ($19 million).

The Intermediate People's Court of Bayannuur in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region delivered the verdict on Wednesday, ruling that the ill-gotten gains from the case will be turned over to the state treasury.

Xue, former vice-chairman of the Liaoning Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, faced a 15-year prison sentence and a 6-million-yuan fine for bribery. Additionally, he received a two-year-and-six-month prison term and a 200,000-yuan fine for using his influence for bribery. The court imposed a total fine of 6.2 million yuan and decided on a 17-year prison term.

From 2001 to 2019, Xue exploited his various positions, including deputy head and head of Liaoning provincial civil affairs department, Party chief of Yingkou, head of Liaoning provincial public security department, and former vice-chairman of the Liaoning Provincial Committee of the CPPCC. During this period, he assisted entities and individuals in matters related to business operations and project contracting. Xue, either directly or through intermediaries, accepted properties exceeding 135 million yuan from 2005 to 2021.

In August 2019, leveraging his past roles, Xue used his influence to help certain individuals gain improper benefits from other public servants. Subsequently, in September 2019, he accepted properties totaling 863,000 yuan. The court deemed Xue's actions as constituting crimes of bribery and using influence for bribery, involving a particularly significant amount.

Despite the gravity of the charges, the court took into consideration Xue's voluntary surrender, active confession of previously unknown criminal facts, and the return of ill-gotten gains. These factors contributed to the court's decision to impose a lenient punishment in accordance with the law.

Xue, 68, began his career in 1973 and joined the Party in 1974. Spending his entire career in Liaoning, he served in various capacities, including Party chief of Yingkou and vice-governor of Liaoning. Xue held the position of vice-chairman of the Liaoning Provincial Committee of the CPPCC from January 2016 until his retirement in January 2018. His investigation commenced in August 2021, leading to his Party expulsion in February 2022 and subsequent arrest one month later. Prosecutors in Bayannuur initiated the case in May 2022, with the Intermediate People's Court of Bayannuur publicly hearing the case three months later, during which Xue pleaded guilty.

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