Former Chinese Official Who Accepted USD160 Million In Bribes Was Sentenced To Death

He is known as the "godfather" among locals for his influence and power.

  • Cover image via SCMP
  • A former vice-mayor of the poverty-stricken Lüliang city in the coal-rich province of Shanxi was sentenced to death for accepting USD160 million in bribes. He is the first Chinese official to get the death sentence after President Xi vowed to get tough on corruption.

    • Zhang Zhongsheng was sentenced to death on Wednesday after the Intermediate People's Court of Linfen found him guilty of accepting 1.04 billion yuan in bribes.

      While the death sentence is said to be without reprieve, Zhang can still appeal the sentence, and the death penalty must be approved by the supreme court in Beijing.

      However, he only has 10 days to appeal his sentence. If he doesn't appeal, the ruling will be passed to the Shanxi High People's Court and then to the Supreme People's Court for review and approval, reported China Daily.

    • Zhang Zhongsheng in centre Image via Shanghaiist

      Zhang Zhongsheng in centre

  • Known as the local "godfather" because of his influence and power, Zhongsheng "paid no heed to law and was extremely greedy"

    • According to the Intermediate People's Court of Linfen, the former vice-mayor was "contemptuous of the law" and "extremely greedy".

      In explaining the reason for handing down the most extreme sentence, the court said that they found the crimes committed by Zhongsheng "particularly grave" which caused "huge losses to the country and its people", reported Xinhua.

      The 65-year-old's abused his position of power for the duration of 16 years that he worked at the highest levels of power in the local government.

      From 1997 to 2013, during which he was in charge of granting official approval and licenses to new coal projects, mergers, and acquisition, he was found to have illegally taken in 1.04 billion as a government official, reported Shine.

  • According to the court, Zhang crimes affected the local economy and had a negative social impact in the province and the country

    • "The death penalty is only applicable to those whose crimes are extremely serious.

      "When the amount of corruption is particularly large and the circumstances are particularly serious and have a severe social influence, the defendant can be sentenced to death under the law.

      "In the 18 charges against Zhang, two were related to bribes exceeding 200 million yuan. He also asked others to pay him more than 88 million yuan," the court said, adding that he has yet to return about 300 million yuan in illicit assets.

    • The court during Zhang's sentencing. Image via SCMP

      The court during Zhang's sentencing.

  • Zhang's personal assets will be confiscated

    • According to the court's ruling, the disgraced official was unable to explain the source of over 130 million yuan of his personal assets.

    • Zhang Zhongsheng during his time as vice-mayor. Image via Daily Mail

      Zhang Zhongsheng during his time as vice-mayor.

  • Meanwhile, in Malaysia, a former DBKL officer who abused his position to secure eight condominium units in Bandar Tun Razak, totalling almost RM2 million, was sentenced to eight months in jail:

  • On the other hand, an ex-army corporal will spend 30 months behind bars after being sentenced to a total of 197 years and six months' in jail after he pleaded guilty to misappropriation of funds:

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