Two officials jailed over toxic river spill
Updated: 2011-07-21 09:49
FUZHOU - Two former officials in charge of environmental protection in Southeast China's Fujian province received prison terms over a toxic spill caused by a copper mine killing thousands of fish last year, local authorities said Wednesday.
Chen Jun'an, former chief of the environment protection bureau of the county of Shanghang, was sentenced to a prison term of 19 years and six months for corruption, bribery, neglect of duty, and embezzlement of state property, said a written statement issued Wednesday by the court of Wuping county in the city of Longyan.
Lan Yong, Chen's deputy, received a nine-year prison term for corruption, bribery and neglect of duty, the statement said.
The People's Court of Wuping county, designated by the Intermediate People's Court of Longyan city, made the fist instance judgement on July 8, and the suspects had appealed against their convictions, it said.
The officials were investigated in the wake of the major pollution spill last July when 9,100 cubic meters of acidic waste water spewed from a poorly-built copper mine's sewage tank and polluted a river that runs through the county of Shanghang in Longyan city.
After the spill, Zijin Mining Group Co, the operator of Zijinshan Copper Mine and its sewage facility, was ordered by a local court to pay 30 million yuan ($4.6 million) in damages. Five of the company's staff were jailed for three to three and a half years.
Zijin is China's leading gold producer. Operations at the Zijinshan mine were suspended after the spill.