Former Chinese Railway Minister given suspended death penalty for bribery, power abuse

Beijing, July 8 (Xinhua-ANI): China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve here on Monday for bribery and abuse of power.

As well as the suspended death sentence, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court deprived the 60-year-old of 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.

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

While he was railways minister, Liu helped Ding and her relatives to win both cargo transportation 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. This allowed Ding and her family to reap huge profits.

The court held that Liu's crime of bribery involved a huge amount of money with especially serious circumstances. His crime of abuse of power had caused colossal losses in public assets, violating the rights and interests of the state and the people.

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

Liu's crime of bribery, which violated the integrity of a state official's duty behavior and undermined the state functionary's reputation, should be given the death penalty. However, with his admission of guilt and repentance, Liu was given the death penalty with a 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. (Xinhua-ANI)

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