Former Shanghai chief not to appeal

Updated: 2008-04-22 15:10

Former Shanghai Communist Party Chief Chen Liangyu has chosen not to file an appeal to overturn his conviction for bribery and abuse of power.

The deadline for an appeal was Monday, and Chen did not raise a plea for retrial. It indicates the original sentence of 18 years, handed down on April 11, will be imposed.
His initial trial was held at the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

The court also confiscated 300,000 yuan (about $42,860) of Chen's personal assets. The 61-year-old was a former member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and an ex-mayor of Shanghai.

Experts said bringing Chen to justice demonstrated the resolve of the CPC Central Committee to build a clean party, promote transparent governance and fight corruption.

Under the ruling, Chen received 14 years and a 300,000 yuan fine for taking bribes and seven years for abuse of power. He was given 18 years in jail and fined 300,000 yuan as the combined punishment for the two crimes.

According to court documents, from 1988 to 2006, Chen took advantage of his positions as head of the Huangpu district government, vice-mayor and mayor of the Shanghai Municipal Government, as well as deputy secretary and secretary of the Shanghai CPC Municipal Committee, to seek profits for Shanghai New Huangpu Group Company (SNHGC) and Shanghai Shenhua Football Club.

Chen extorted money from or accepted bribes of more than 2.39 million yuan from organizations and individuals, the court heard. Chen urged his relatives to return all these funds after his case was uncovered.

During 2002, when Chen held the posts of acting mayor and mayor of the Shanghai Municipal Government, he made a decision in violation of the established procedures to transfer a stake in the Shanghai Road and Bridge Development Corp., which was held by Shanghai Chengtou Corp. a state-owned company, to the private-sector Shanghai Fuxi Investment Holdings.

The stake was not assessed according to procedure, which resulted in it being undervalued and transferred at a below-market price, causing an economic loss of 320 million yuan to the state.

From 2002 to 2003, while acting as the mayor of the Shanghai Municipal Government and secretary of the Shanghai CPC Municipal committee, Chen used his position to seek benefits for his brother, Chen Liangjun.

The court heard that, although he clearly knew that his brother did not meet the qualifications to develop the land, he agreed with a related department to acquire land for Chen Liangjun against the rules.

As a result, 537 mu (35.8 hectares) was acquired, including 183 mu of arable land.

Chen Liangjun ultimately acquired usage rights for 354 mu of land, which caused economic losses of 344.1 million yuan to the state. Later, the court heard, Chen Liangjun resold the land use rights and illegally earned 118 million yuan.

In 2004, Chen -- then the Party Chief of Shanghai -- defied regulations to help an unidentified company obtain financing from the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Labor and Social Security, putting 1 billion yuan of the social security fund at huge risk.

The Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled that Chen had taken a huge amount of bribes and abused his official powers to cause great losses involving public assets, as well as to the interests of the nation and the people. It termed his crimes "hideous."

However, since he showed remorse over his bribe-taking and returned all the illicit gains, the court had shown him leniency and rendered a verdict in accordance with the law.

The court started the trial on March 25.

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