A Chinese court on Thursday sentenced Liao Yongyuan, the former general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) [official website], to 15 years for graft, finding corruption based on accepting bribes [Xinhua report] and holding large amounts of property with no identified source. The court also fined [Reuters report] Liao 1.5 million yuan, approximately USD $220,000. Through various positions at the company over the years, Liao admitted to securing promotions for certain individuals and accepting bribes. The court acted leniently based on this admission as well as Liao’s willingness to turn over proceeds from the actions.
Earlier this month China’s President Xi Jinping declared [JURIST report] that the nation’s battle against corruption “must go deeper,” stressing the need for the Communist Party to be governed “systematically, creatively and efficiently.” Following Xi’s promise to root out corruption, numerous officials, such as Zhou Yongkang, the former head of China’s domestic security services, and Ling Jihua, a senior aide to former President Hu Jinato, have received life sentences [Reuters report] for their corruption charges. Thus far, Zhou was the most senior official to be convicted [BBC report] of corruption charges in the history of China’s Communist regime. Last month the Chinese government announced [JURIST report] that it will prosecute Ma Jian, a former vice minister of China’s Ministry of State Security, on bribery charges. China’s Communist party exerts a strong influence over its courts systems, making it likely [NYT report] that Jian and all other officials that may face prosecution in the future will be convicted. Earlier last month, the Chinese government also arrested [JURIST report] Iat Hong and Chin Hung of Macau, and Bo Zheng of China on cybersecurity allegations. In October 2015 a former chairman of CNPC was sentenced to 16 years in prison for corruption [JURIST report].