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Former Beijing vice mayor appeals against suspended death penalty
Updated: 2008-10-28 17:18

BEIJING - Former Beijing vice mayor Liu Zhihua has lodged an appeal against his death sentence with a two-year reprieve after being convicted on corruption charges, one day before the appeal deadline, said his lawyer Mo Shaoping on Tuesday.

Liu, 59, was convicted and sentenced at Hengshui Intermediate People's Court, in Hebei Province neighboring Beijing, on October 18 and he lodged his appeal at the same court on Monday.

He was found guilty of taking bribes totaling 6.97 million yuan (US$1.02 million) when he was vice mayor and director of the management committee of Zhongguancun Science Park from 1999 to 2006.

In his appeal statement, Liu claimed that as the former construction director of the 2008 Olympic projects, his useful advice on their planning and construction was a "contribution" to the Olympics, and thus grounds for leniency.

He claimed the confiscation of all his personal assets, including a bank account with 200,000 yuan and his apartment, was improper as they were lawfully earned.

The court ruling said Liu and his mistress Wang Jianrui had accepted bribes offered in return for contracts, loans and promotions, which Liu had the authority to grant.

Liu was removed from the post of Beijing vice mayor in June 2006 and expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) six months later.

He had been head of the Beijing labor bureau, secretary of the CPC Committee of Xicheng District and secretary general of the municipal government. In 1999, he was elected vice mayor, with authority over construction, real estate, sport and transport projects.