BEIJING (Reuters) - China has sentenced the former Communist Party boss from the southwestern province of Yunnan to death for bribery with a two-year reprieve, the latest official to fall in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping war on graft.
A court said Bai Enpei, 70, abused his posts, including as party chief in Yunnan until 2011 and earlier as the top official in the western province of Qinghai, illegally amassing more than 247 million yuan ($37 million) in assets.
Bai was handed a two-year reprieve as he had admitted his crimes and expressed regret, and because the assets were recovered in full, the court said. Typically death sentences be converted to life imprisonment subject to good behavior.
“The amount of bribes Bai Enpei accepted was huge, the details of his crimes extremely serious, and their social impact especially pernicious,” the Anyang city intermediate court in the central province of Henan said on its official blog.
Bai went on trial in June, but the court statement gave few other details of his case. He could not be reached for comment.
Courts are controlled by the party and do not challenge party accusations, especially in corruption cases.
China is in the midst of a crackdown on graft launched by Xi after he assumed power almost four years ago, warning the problem was so serious it threatened the party’s survival.
Dozens of senior officials have been jailed in the campaign, including former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.
China’s anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), said separately on its website that Yang Dongliang, the former head of the State Administration of Work Safety, had been charged with corruption.
Yang was removed as the agency’s director shortly after the massive explosions in a warehouse in Tianjin last August left more than 170 people dead.
He was a former vice mayor Tianjin and has been accused of abusing his positions and accepting bribes in “huge amounts”.
Another former senior official, Zhou Benshun, who was party boss of the northern province of Hebei, was also charged for corruption, the CCDI said.
Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Stephen Coates and Raissa Kasolowsky