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China: Corrupt Beijing Official Sentenced To Death

China: Corrupt Official Sentenced

China Daily reports Bi Yuxi, once a top communications and highways official in Beijing, was given a suspended death sentence on Wednesday for corruption after having expressed regret for his crimes.

The court will review his sentence in two years, with the possibility of commuting his sentence for good behavior.

The former vice director of the municipal communications bureau took bribes of over 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) and spent 3 million yuan (US$360,000) of state money between 1993 and 2004, according to the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.

Bi, 62, is former chairman of board of directors of the Beijing Capital Highway Development Company, a state-owned enterprise responsible for the operation of eight roads in Beijing.

All his personal property will be confiscated, according to the judgment, and he will be fined 30,000 yuan (US$3,600).

Most of Bi's bounty has been recovered. The court said he interfered in bidding for highway construction and helped others get promotions.

Court sources said he took US dollars, Hong Kong dollars, renminbi, cars, computers, watches and gold bars in bribes. He also used state cash to buy endowment policies for 15 highway development staff, also against the law.

Bi appeared calm after the court decision, the Legal Evening News reported, and did not say whether he would appeal.

His daughter and son-in-law were in court to hear the judgment. "I should have served the people well, but I forgot my obligations and responsibilities when I began to take bribes," said Bi in a confession to the Beijing Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection.

"At first, I merely made some small profits. Later, I began to accept enormous bribes," Bi added.

His crimes were discovered when the Fifth Ring Road project, which opened to traffic in 2003, was being audited, after the cost of some parts of the road was found to be much higher than what could be considered a reasonable price.

Bi was arrested last August.



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