Caixin
Jul 31, 2020 05:41 PM
POLITICS & LAW

‘Two-Faced’ Former Party Chief Handed Suspended Death Sentence

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What’s new: Zhao Zhengyong, former party chief of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, was given a death sentence suspended for two years by Tianjin No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court on Friday, for taking bribes worth more than 717 million yuan ($103 million), Xinhua news agency reported, citing a court ruling. After the two-year reprieve, Zhao will be subject to life imprisonment without commutation or probation, the ruling said. The disgraced senior official had his property confiscated and political rights withdrawn for life.

Zhao said he will not appeal the decision, according to the statement by the Tianjin court.

From 2003 to 2018, the former Shaanxi party chief was found to have accepted bribes in return for helping individuals and departments profit from construction contracts, business operations, job promotions and work transfers, the ruling said.

The background: Zhao, a 69-year-old with a reputation for ruthlessness who pleaded guilty to bribe-taking in May, was dubbed a “shameless two-faced person” in a party journal article after being detained last year, referring to the lip service he had paid to various central government orders he had received but ignored while in office.

Under Chinese criminal law, defendants given a suspended death sentence will not be executed. If they commit no new offenses during the two-year reprieve, their sentence will be reduced to life in jail.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com) and editor Heather Mowbray (heathermowbray@caixin.com)

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