CHINA

Former pro­vin­cial party boss sen­tenced to death

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

A former Chi­nese pro­vin­cial Com­mu­nist Party boss was sen­tenced to death with a two-year re­prieve Sun­day as part of the coun­try’s on­go­ing crack­down on cor­rup­tion at all lev­els. The Anyang City In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court in He­nan Prov­ince said Bai En­pei was found guilty of tak­ing “a huge amount of bribes” and pos­sess­ing a large amount of in­come from uniden­ti­fied sources. Bai had been a se­nior lawmaker with the national leg­is­la­ture and for­merly served as the toprank­ing official in the west­ern prov­inces of Qing­hai and Yun­nan. His en­tire per­sonal as­sets were also con­fis­cated and he was barred from ever again hold­ing of­fice. Sus­pended death sen­tences in China are usu­ally re­verted to life im­pris­on­ment af­ter two years with good be­hav­ior. Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has vowed to end cor­rup­tion and gov­ern­ment waste, al­though crit­ics have ac­cused him of us­ing the cam­paign to at­tack po­lit­i­cal ri­vals. Thou­sands of of­fice­hold­ers have been in­ves­ti­gated as part of the cam­paign, and some Chi­nese have complained that the drive has re­sulted in bu­reau­cratic paral­y­sis as of­fi­cials refuse to per­form cer­tain stan­dard tasks out of fear of be­ing ac­cused of bribe-tak­ing. Two other former high-rank­ing of­fi­cials, Zhou Ben­shun and Yang Dongliang, have also been for­mally charged with cor­rup­tion, China’s official Xin­hua News Agency re­ported Sun­day, cit­ing the state pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice. Zhou had been party boss of He­bei prov­ince, just out­side Bei­jing, while Yang had led the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Work Safety. Both were charged with tak­ing bribes. Yang was also ac­cused of em­bez­zling pub­lic as­sets. Yang was placed un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Au­gust of last year, shortly af­ter a mas­sive ex­plo­sion at a chem­i­cal stor­age ware­house in the north­ern port city of Tian­jin killed 173 peo­ple — mostly fire­fight­ers and po­lice — in one of China’s worstever work­place ac­ci­dents.

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