China / Society

Ex-driver of former deputy mayor gets 16 years for corruption

( Updated: 2012-12-24 20:07

Yang Shenghua, the former driver of Yang Xiuzhu, former deputy mayor of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, who made the headlines when she fled the country to escape prosecution for corruption, was sentenced to 16 years for corruption and embezzlement of public funds on Dec 18.

The court ordered the confiscation of his personal assets worth 300,000 yuan ($48,000), Hangzhou-based newspaper City Express reported on Monday.

Yang Shenghua allegedly used Yang Xiuzhu's influence as an official to get positions as chairman of the Wenzhou Modern City Construction and Development Co and Wenzhou Modern Municipal Infrastructure Co.

Yang Xiuzhu held the post of deputy mayor of Wenzhou from 1995 to 1998 and was in charge of urban planning and construction in the city.

In 2003, she fled to the Netherlands with her family after the authorities started investigating her and she remains at large in an unidentified foreign country.

According to prosecutor's office in Wenzhou, Yang Shenghua transferred more than 36.6 million yuan of the State's shares in both companies to establish private real estate businesses, and took around 27 million yuan in State assets.

He fled to Germany in 2003 but gave himself up to the police eight years later. When being asked why he returned, Yang Shenghua said he had got divorced and recently became a grandfather, and hence he no longer had to worry about his family, which made it an appropriate time to turn himself in, the report said.

A prosecutor dealing with Yang's case said he would have face a death sentence with a reprieve or life imprisonment if he had not voluntarily turned himself in.

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