Two given life sentences for Shanghai building collapse

Updated: 2010-04-21 21:03
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Two given life sentences for Shanghai building collapse

The two defendants, Que Jingde (R) and Zhang Zhiqin, sit in the Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court during their trial in March. [File photo/Xinhua] 

SHANGHAI - Two people were sentenced to life imprisonment Wednesday for corruption in connection to a building collapse in Shanghai that killed one worker in June 2009.    

The verdicts for Zhang Zhiqin, general manager of the building's developer, the Meidu Real Estate Company, and Que Jingde, the second largest shareholder of the company, were announced by the Shanghai Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's  Court.    

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The court also decided to confiscate 2 million yuan and 5 million yuan of Que's and Zhang's personal assets, respectively.    

Zhang and Que were appointed by the town government to take charge of Meidu in December 1995, the court statement said.    

Zhang and Que were convicted of embezzling more than 40 million yuan (5.9 million U.S.dollars) in company funds from September 2000 to April 2001, according to the statement.    

Zhang was convicted of diverting 440 million yuan of company funds to his family's businesses from March to June in 2009. He was also convicted of negligently causing a serious accident by using unqualified contractors and ordering them to pile soil beside an incomplete building.

The nearly-completed 13-story building in the "Lotus Riverside" development in Minhang District toppled on the morning of June 27, 2009, killing one worker and causing economic losses of 19.46 million yuan.    

Investigations showed the developers, rushing to finish the project, were digging the basement and piling soil beside the building, which caused an imbalance that brought the building down.