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Two corrupt media pros punished
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-15 22:18

Two senior media officials convicted of siphoning public funds and accepting bribes got reduced punishments Tuesday.

The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court sentenced Yu Huafeng, deputy editor-in-chief of Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis News, and Li Minying, former member of editorial board of the Nanfang Daily Group, to eight years and six years in jail.

Yu was originally sentenced to 12 years and Li 11 years in their first instance trial by the Guangzhou Dongshan District People's Court three months ago.

Both Yu and Li appealed to Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court in the wake of their first instance trial.

The intermediate court reduced the sentences, saying the punishment for Yu and Li were appropriate to their crimes in accordance with Chinese law.

A court official said the original verdict was accurate for corruption charges but the jail terms for the two defendants were inappropriate.

The appeal at the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court started earlier this month, said the official on condition of anonymity.

Yu was convicted of siphoning public funds valued at 580,000 yuan (US$70,000) between January 2001 and April 2002. He shared the money with eight other members of the newspaper's editorial board. He kept 100,000 yuan (US$12,000) for himself.

He was also alleged to have offered bribes worth 800,000 yuan (US$96,735.8), in two separate cases, to Li who was in charge of the Southern Metropolis News, a subsidiary newspaper of the Nanfang Daily Group.

Li was convicted for accepting more than 970,000 yuan (US$117,000) in bribes in four separate times between 2000 and 2003.

Cheng Yizhong, editor-in-chief of Southern Metropolis News, suspected of being involved in the case, has been dismissed from his post and is now under investigation.

Southern Metropolis New is one of the most popular and successful newspapers in China. Its profits topped 160 million yuan (US$19 million) last year.

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