Ex-China Mobile official gets suspended death sentence

Updated: 2011-07-23 08:00

(China Daily)

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SHIJIAZHUANG - A court in North China's Hebei province on Friday sentenced Zhang Chunjiang, former deputy general manager of China Mobile, to death with a two-year reprieve, after he was found of taking bribes.

The Intermediate People's Court of Cangzhou also ordered the confiscation of Zhang's personal assets and stripped him of his political rights.

The court found that Zhang, 53, took 7.46 million yuan ($1.15 million) in bribes between 1994 and 2009 when he was deputy director of the Liaoning provincial postal administration, general manager of China Netcom Group Corporation Ltd, and Party chief as well as deputy general manager of China Mobile.

Zhang, a native of East China's Shandong province, was given a suspended death sentence, meaning the sentence could be commuted to life imprisonment after two years of good behavior, because he confessed his crimes and all the bribe money had been recovered, according to the court.

He had previously been removed from his post and expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for "severe violations of the discipline and the law."

Zhang was confirmed to be under investigation for a "serious breach of discipline" on Dec 26, 2009, by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Party's internal anti-graft body.

He became secretary of the Party committee and deputy head of China Mobile in May 2008.

China Mobile is the country's biggest wireless service provider and the world's largest mobile carrier by number of subscribers.

Zhang was among a dozen ministerial-level officials, including former Shenzhen mayor Xu Zongheng, punished as China intensified its fight against corruption.

The Supreme People's Court has vowed to continue to battle corruption by meting out harsh punishments to those who are convicted.

Sun Jungong, spokesman of the Supreme People's Court, warned on Tuesday that for crimes involving an abuse of public office - especially cases of corruption and bribery - that are severe enough to merit the death penalty, the court will not go lightly but will instead approve executions.

Xu Maiyong, former vice-mayor of Hangzhou, and Jiang Renjie, former vice-mayor of Suzhou, were executed on Tuesday for taking large amounts in bribes and abusing their power.

Statistics compiled by the Supreme People's Court show that 28,708 officials were convicted of abuse of power in 2010. Of them, 5,906 were sentenced to more than 5 years in jail.

China Daily - Xinhua

(China Daily 07/23/2011 page3)