Beijing official given suspended death sentence

By Richard High20 October 2008

A former Beijing vice-mayor in charge of overseeing construction projects for the Beijing 2008 Olympics has been given a death sentence, suspended for two years, for corruption, according to on-line news agency China Daily.

Mr Liu, 59, was charged with taking bribes of about CNY 6.97 million (US$ 1 million) when he was vice-mayor of Beijing and director of the management committee of Zhongguancun Science Park from 1999 to 2006, according to the Hengshui intermediate people's court in Hebei province.

The sentence will be commuted to life in prison in two years if Mr Liu "shows good behaviour."

The Chinese government censored all reporting on Mr Liu's prosecution in the months leading up to the 2008 Olympics.

According to the report, Mr Liu's "misdeeds" had nothing to do with Olympic projects.

Mr Liu faced 10 charges for allegedly accepting bribes and gifts in return for favours to property development companies while he was vice- mayor, according to his lawyer, Mo Shaoping.

Mr Liu was also convicted of helping his mistress, Wang Jianrui, profit from construction projects.

Mr Mo said Mr Liu will "probably appeal the verdict, and the final decision will be made soon." Mr Liu has 10 days to decide on an appeal.

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