[JURIST] Convicted former top Chinese Communist Party official Chen Liangyu [People's Daily profile] has decided not to appeal his corruption conviction [JURIST report], Chinese media reported Tuesday. Chen was found guilty earlier this month of accepting bribes and abuse of power, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. His lawyer had previously indicated Chen would appeal the conviction and sentence, but a Monday deadline passed without an appeal being filed. AP has more.
Chen was fired [JURIST report] in 2006 after being accused of involvement in a pension plan scandal, in which some $4.8 billion was illegally siphoned from Shanghai's pension fund. China has taken a hard line on corruption recently, punishing several officials with lengthy prison terms and the death penalty [JURIST report]. In January, the Communist Party of China [official backgrounder] issued a list of "10 taboos" [JURIST report] for public officials as part of the government's attempt to fight corruption ahead of a reshuffling of provincial leadership posts. Chinese prosecutors said last month that the number of corruption convictions against government officials has increased by 30 percent in the last five years [JURIST report].