China’s ex-railway minister’s death sentence commuted to life

Beijing, Dec 14 (IANS) The death sentence of China’s former railway minister Liu Zhijun was commuted to life imprisonment by Beijing Higher People’s Court on Monday.

The Second Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing sentenced Liu to death with a two-year reprieve in July 2013 for bribery and abuse of power, Xinhua news agency reported.

Liu has been incarcerated in Qincheng Prison since August 2013.

The penitentiary last month proposed that Liu’s sentence be commuted to life in prison for good behaviour during the two-year period.

In China, criminals may escape the death penalty should they commit no intentional crime during the reprieve period.

Although his sentence has been reduced, all other aspects stand. He will remain deprived of political rights for life and all his personal property must be confiscated.

Liu accepted 64.6 million yuan ($10.53 million) in bribes from 11 people in exchange for promotions, project deals and contracts from 1986 to 2011 when he worked in local railway bureaus and the former railway ministry.

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