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Official jailed for death of political supervisor
Updated: 2009-01-05 13:55

TAIYUAN -- A senior official in north China's Shanxi Province has been jailed for 6 years for causing the deaths of the top provincial political adviser and her secretary in a road accident.

Li Yi was sentenced on Sunday at the People's Court of Yingze District, Taiyuan, after he was convicted of causing the accident that killed Jin Yinhuan, chairwoman of the Shanxi provincial committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and her secretary Wang Rong.

The accident occurred on an expressway at about 1:40 p.m. on October 11, when Jin was returning from an inspection tour of Xinzhou City to the provincial capital Taiyuan in a Toyota SUV. Her car was escorted by a police car and another SUV.

Prosecutors said Li, vice chairman of the Xinzhou city committee of the CPPCC, was driving a Toyota sedan at about 140 km/h, when he suddenly cut across lanes and crashed into the door of Jin's car, which was then stuck by the other SUV and rolled on to its roof.

Jin, 56, and Wang were severely injured and later died in hospital. Jin's driver, Peng Lexiang, was also injured, but survived.

Police detained Li, who went on trial in the people's court of Yingze District in Taiyuan on December 26, 2008.

The court found Li to be solely responsible for the accident. His sentence also reflected Li's attempt to cover up his involvement in the accident by calling his driver to the scene, and telling him to take the blame.

Li Zhifu, the driver, received a one-year sentence for his part in the attempted cover-up, but this was suspended for one year because he confessed to the crime.

The court rejected a charge that Li Yi committed murder for lack of evidence.

Jin and Li graduated from the same college. "Jin gave me much help during my official career, she is my benefactor," Li said during the trial.

"I will spend every penny I have to compensate the victims," Li said in his final statement on the court.