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Former court president punished for discipline violations

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-12-14 17:29
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BEIJING - A former president of the Higher People's Court of Southwest China's Yunnan province has been punished for discipline violations.

Zhao Shijie, also former secretary of the leading Party members' group of the court, has been placed on probation within the Party for one year, said a statement of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission on Saturday.

Approved by the CPC Central Committee, an investigation into Zhao's case found that he had severely violated the Party discipline.

Zhao abused his post and power to engage in fraud for selfish gains, demanding that judges pervert the law in the judgment during the retrial of Sun Xiaoguo, a convict who had committed multiple crimes.

Zhao's acts led to the change of punishment of Sun from the death sentence with a reprieve to 20 years in prison in 2007, leaving a negative impact and serious consequences, according to the statement, which added that Zhao admitted his wrongdoing and showed remorse during the investigation.

Moreover, investigations were also launched into the disciplinary issues of five other provincial-level officials involved in the case of Sun Xiaoguo. They received disciplinary measures within the Party as a result.

Sun, born in 1977, was sentenced to death at the Kunming Municipal Intermediate People's Court for rape, insulting women by forcible means, intentionally inflicting harm upon others and creating disturbances in 1998. The verdict was changed to death sentence with a two-year reprieve after the second trial at the Yunnan Higher People's Court in 1999.

In 2007, after a retrial at the same court, the verdict was changed again to 20 years of imprisonment.

Zhao Shijie was the president of the court from February 2001 to January 2008.

Earlier this year, the court decided that the verdict in 2007 was incorrect and the case should be reheard. On Nov 8, Sun was handed a 25-year prison term.

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