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China transportation official sentenced to life for corruption

[JURIST] The Chinese Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Kunming, Yunnan sentenced the former deputy director of the province's transportation department to life in prison Wednesday for accepting more than $5.3 million in bribes in exchange for his influence in securing construction and development contracts. The court said that Hu Xing's sentence was lenient because Hu voluntarily cooperated with authorities after his capture and has demonstrated remorse. The court indicated that Hu's wrongdoing, which included fleeing to Singapore after the commencement of an investigation, otherwise warranted the death penalty. According to China's state news agency, there are currently 84 officials from Yunnan province facing corruption charges who have fled China [Xinhua report].

The Chinese government is currently engaged in a publicized campaign against corrupt public officials [JURIST news archive]. In July, the Chinese Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate [official websites] jointly publicized new rules [text, in Chinese; JURIST report] broadening the definition of bribery to include arrangements where officials do not personally receive money, gifts, or favors. Last Thursday, the Chinese Communist Party discipline commission spokesperson defended China's use of capital punishment [JURIST report] in political and economic corruption cases, saying it was "endorsed by the Chinese people and also recognized by the international community." In July, China executed the former State Food and Drug Administration commissioner [JURIST report] for accepting $850,000 in bribes. AP has more. Xinhua has local coverage, in Chinese.

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