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Chinese prosecutor given life sentence for torture death of government official

[JURIST] A former Chinese anti-corruption [Xinhua backgrounder] prosecutor was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for torturing to death a government official in May 2007. Xiong Zhengliang was convicted of killing Liang Jiping, a deputy director of a government electricity utility, while Liang was in custody for allegedly accepting bribes. Xiong and two deputies beat and deprived Liang of sleep [The Beijing News report, in Chinese] in order to obtain a confession, eventually resulting in Liang's death. The two deputies received prison sentences of 10 and 15 years respectively for their involvement in the killing, and Xiong's supervisor received a seven-year sentence for attempting to cover up the incident. Reuters has more.

China has taken a hard line on corruption in recent years, punishing several officials with lengthy prison terms or executions [JURIST report]. In January, the Chinese government issued new anti-corruption rules [JURIST report] for public officials. In December 2007, a former prosecutor received a suspended death sentence [JURIST report] after being convicted of accepting bribes and embezzling money. In September 2007, a former official of the Agricultural Bank of China was executed [JURIST report] for taking bribes and embezzling nearly $2 million. In July 2007, the former commissioner of China's State Food and Drug Administration was executed for accepting $850,000 in bribes [JURIST report].

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