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Former rail chief sentenced to death with reprieve

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-08 09:51

BEIJING - China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun was sentenced death penalty with a two-year reprieve here on Monday for bribery and abuse of power.

The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court announced the verdict of the first instance.

The court sentenced the 60-year-old Liu to death with a two-year reprieve, deprived his political rights for life and confiscated all his personal property for taking bribes. Liu was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for abuse of power, according to the court verdict.

Former rail chief sentenced to death with reprieve

A screenshot from China's Central Television shows former railways minister Liu Zhijun standing trial in a court in Beijing on June 9, 2013.

The combined punishment for Liu's crimes is death penalty with a two-year reprieve, deprival of political rights for life, and confiscation of all personal property, the court said.

The court found that from 1986 to 2011, Liu took advantage of his positions as official of local railway bureaus as well as the former Ministry of Railways, and helped 11 people, Shao Liping and Ding Yuxin included, win promotions, project contracts, and cargo transportation contracts. He accepted 64.6 million yuan (10.53 million U.S. dollars) in bribes from them during this period.

During his tenure as railways minister, Liu helped Ding Yuxin and her relatives to win cargo transportation contracts and railway construction contracts. He also helped them in the acquisition of shares in a bullet train wheel set company, and with enterprise financing, by breaking regulations and applying favoritism, which allowed Ding and her family to reap huge profits and inflicted colossal losses in the public assets, violating rights and interests of the state and the people.

The court held that Liu's crime of bribery involves especially huge amount of money with especially serious circumstances, and his crime of abuse of power had caused colossal losses in the public assets, violating rights and interests of the state and the people. Provided with clear, valid and sufficient evidences, the court considered that Liu's crimes should receive punishment according to law.

The court confirmed the facts that Liu confessed truthfully his crimes, and provided further clues of his bribery that are unknown to the investigation organs. Most of Liu's bribed money and the majority of the economic losses caused by his abuse of power had been recovered.

Liu's crime of bribery, which violated the integrity of state functionary's duty behavior and undermined state functionary's reputation, should be given death penalty. However, in consideration of his above-mentioned situations that meet mitigating punishment and his admission of guilty and repentance, Liu was given death penalty with reprieve, the court said.

The court said that although most of economic losses have been recovered, leniency will not be given regarding Liu's crime of power abuse, as it is especially serious in terms of both circumstances and consequences.

The court said that it handed down the sentence according to law.


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