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Ex-Beijing official gets death sentence for corruption

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A former Beijing vice mayor in charge of overseeing Olympic construction projects has been given a death sentence for corruption, a court clerk and his lawyer said Sunday.

The Intermediate People’s Court in Hengshui, a city outside Beijing, ordered the death sentence Saturday after finding Liu Zhihua guilty of taking bribes, said a court clerk who would only give his surname, Ma.

However, the sentence was “suspended” for two years, Ma said. The reprieve means if Liu shows good behavior, his sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment.

The government squelched all reporting on Liu’s prosecution in the months leading up to the August Olympic Games to avoid tarnishing its image on the global stage.

Officials said Liu’s misdeeds had nothing to do with Olympic projects, but his dismissal put a cloud over preparations for the games and prompted authorities to ratchet up anti-corruption efforts.

Liu was elected to his post as vice mayor of Beijing in 1999, and dismissed and kicked out of the Communist Party in 2006.

Liu faced 10 charges for accepting bribes totaling about 7 million yuan ($1 million) and gifts in return for favors to property development companies while vice mayor, his lawyer Mo Shaoping said.

via Ex-Beijing official gets death sentence – CNN.com

Looks like China has not received the latest Amnesty International’s campaign.

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