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Ex-fugitive pleads guilty to graft

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2016-07-06 07:28

A suspect on China's list of the 100 most-wanted economic fugitives pleaded guilty in a Beijing court on Tuesday to embezzlement and corruption.

Sun Xin, 48, wearing a gray T-shirt and black pants, was taken to the First Courtroom of Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court at about 9:30 am. He appeared to have gained weight since being brought back to China last year.

Prosecutors accused Sun of transferring more than 22 million yuan ($3.3 million) of public money to his private accounts from July 2001 to January 2008, when he worked as a cashier for what was then the Beijing Bureau of Press and Publication.

"Sun was responsible for the use of stamps in the bureau's financial department and made use of his work post to use public funds to cover his own loss in stocks," said Yang Pengfei, a prosecutor from the Beijing No 2 People's Procuratorate.

Before the trial, Sun returned about 4 million yuan, Yang said.

Sun also was accused of making fake bank contracts, and he took more than 570,000 yuan in public money to flee to Southeast Asia after being removed from his post in late 2008, the prosecutor added.

Sun showed regret during the trial for his behavior, saying he fled because he worried that his transfer of public funds would be discovered.

"I had big fears when I was at large, and I had no idea where to go," he said.

In April last year, Interpol's National Central Bureau of China issued the list of 100 people - 77 men and 23 women sought worldwide on suspicion of corruption.

Sun was brought back from Cambodia on June 8 last year after being on the run for almost seven years. He was the first one to stand trial among three fugitives returned last year.

"I'm sorry for my greed, which caused economic loss to the country," he said at the end of the hearing. "When I was abroad, I felt depressed while missing my family and hometown, and the fear and guilt were killing me.

"The prosecutors told me of the current policies against graft after I was arrested, and I now know that justice has long arms," he added.

The court will deliver a verdict later.

Chen Liang, Sun's lawyer, said after the trial that Sun worked while overseas, earning about 5,000 yuan a month.

"He was arrested via a face recognition system at an airport in Cambodia," Chen said.

His lawyer suggested that Sun should be given a lenient sentence because of his positive attitude.

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