China’s Ex-Minister sentenced to death for Graft and Power Misuse

Jul 8, 2013 12:32 IST

China’s former Railways Minister Liu Zhijun on 7 July 2013 was given a suspended death sentence for corruption and abuse of power.

60 years old Liu Zhijun was given the death sentence by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, which is conducting the trial. The combined punishment for Liu’s crimes includes death penalty with a two-year reprieve, deprival of political rights for life, and confiscation of all personal . Liu Zhiju was charged with accepting bribes of around 10.53 million dollars for over 25 years.

Liu Zhijun has headed the railways from 2003 to 2011, at same point when China had embarked on the high speed network linking different parts of the country. The death sentence of Zhijun will be judicially reviewed after two years time. Liu’s crime of bribery involves especially huge amount of money with especially serious circumstances, and his crime of abuse of power had caused colossal losses in the public assets, violating rights and interests of the state and the people.

The rigid sentence against him comes in the wake of promise by China’s new leadership headed by President Xi Jinping to crack down hard on corruption which they said threatened the over 60-year-old hold of the ruling Communist Party on China.

As per the court during the period from 1986 to 2011, Liu Zhijun took advantage of his positions as official of local railway bureaus as well as the former Ministry of Railways, and helped 11 people, Shao Liping and Ding Yuxin included, win promotions, project contracts, and cargo transportation contracts.

It was also found by the court that Liu Zhijun has helped them in the acquisition of shares in a bullet train wheel set company, and with enterprise financing, by breaking regulations and applying favoritism, which allowed Ding and her family to reap huge profits and inflicted colossal losses in the public assets, violating rights and interests of the state and the people.

Capital punishment in China

Capital punishment in the China is usually given to offenders of serious and violent crimes, such as forced murder, but China retains in law a number of nonviolent capital offenses such as drug trafficking. Capital punishment in China is considered under classical Five Punishments of China's dynastic period. As per Chinese Philosophy, capital punishment was supported by the Legalists but its application was tempered by the Confucianists, who preferred rehabilitation over punishment, let alone capital punishment.

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