Top Chinese legislator gets suspended death sentence for graft
Beijing: China on Thursday sentenced a former top legislator to death with a two-year reprieve for taking a bribes of over USD 2 million.
Zhou Jianhua, former chairman of the standing committee of the People`s Congress of Xinyu City in Jiangxi province, was convicted of taking 99 bribes and abusing power, said Zhang Zhonghou, head of Jiangxi Higher People`s Court.
Bribes he accepted included 10.2 million yuan (USD 1.6 million), USD 12,000, 150,000 Hong Kong dollars (USD 19,300) and three gold bars (each weighing 50 grams) and articles worth 236,000 yuan.
The first instance verdict by Yichun Intermediate People`s Court also deprived 58-year-old Zhou of his political rights for life, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
His personal assets were confiscated. Zhou was one of several such officials who were given depth sentence with reprieve.
In China`s criminal law, death sentence with reprieve is a punishment whereby the death sentence is suspended for two years. The convicted person will be executed if found to intentionally commit further crimes during the two years following the sentencing.
Zhou was elected to the top legislative post of Xinyu in September 2011. The Jiangxi Higher People`s Court is currently handling a retrial of Zhou`s case.
In 2013, Jiangxi courts completed trials of 1,216 people in 978 cases of embezzlement, bribery and dereliction of duty. Twenty-three officials at county level or above were punished for corruption.
The ruling Communist Party of China has vowed to target both "tigers" and "flies" (metaphors for senior and low-ranking corrupt officials) in its clampdown on corruption.
Last year, the CPC`s discipline inspection agencies punished about 182,000 officials nationwide, 13.3 per cent more than in 2012.
High-profile officials under investigation include Jiang Jiemin, former head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and Li Dongsheng, former vice minister of public security.
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