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Top Beijing tax official sentenced to death for corruption

May 10, 2012 18:35 IST
A former chief of Beijing's local taxation bureau was sentenced to death, with a two-year reprieve, for accepting bribes and embezzling up to 10 million yuan, as part of a crackdown on officials facing corruption charges.

The No 1 Intermediate People's Court of Beijing said it found that between 2002 and 2009, 64-year-old Wang Jiping took bribes worth more than four million yuan ($633,944) and embezzled 10 million yuan ($1,583,487).

The court said that Wang colluded with his brother, son and other relatives to rig the bidding process for government procurement, construction tenders and employment, a report in the Global Times said.

Wang received bribes from several individuals and Shangdong Langchao Commercial Ltd on multiple occasions, totaling 4.35 million yuan, the report said. He was reported by one of Wang's employees and a mistress. A subsequent probe then exposed Wang's violations.

Working with close friend Zhao Yun, owner of a Beijing-based electronics company, Wang embezzled 10.47 million yuan during the procurement of fiscal processors between 2002 and 2004, the court said. Wang was arrested in August 2010 and his trial began in April last year.

In court on Wednesday Wang pleaded not guilty. He said he was never in possession of the 10.47 million yuan he was accused of embezzling, as money went to the company's account. Wang has also denied taking 4.35 million yuan in bribes.

After serving in the military, Wang entered politics and worked his way up to the chief post of the Beijing Local Taxation Bureau.       

Previous media reports had described Wang as a "bold and competent" leader who had implemented a string of reforms to combat tax evasion.

While investigating Wang's case, authorities had uncovered corruption cases against other bureau employees who have also received prison terms. This is the second such sentence against alleged corrupt officials in the past two years.

Song Chenguang, former senior political advisor of east China's Jiangxi Province was sentenced to death last month with two years of probation for bribery. Song, former vice chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was convicted of taking 12.63 million yuan ($2 million) in bribes from 1998 to 2010.

Last year, the former chairman of China's leading telecom operator, China Mobile, in southwest China's Sichuan branch Li Hua was sentenced to death with two years' probation for accepting huge bribes. Li, former chairman and general manager of the Sichuan branch of the China Mobile Communications Corporation, was convicted on the first instance of taking bribes totaling 16.48 million yuan ($2.58 million).

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