China Executes Former Finance Official For Financial Corruption

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The former head of a Chinese state-owned asset management company has been executed on charges of taking bribes, reports the Associated Press.

Lai Xiaomin of China Huarong Asset Management Co. was among thousands of officials indicted in a long-running anti-graft campaign led by President Xi Jinping.

Others including China’s former insurance regulator have been sentenced to prison.

Fifty-eight-year-old Mr. Lai was put to death by a court in Tianjin, east of Beijing, the Government said.

The Second Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin ruled in January that death was justified because Mr. Lai took “especially enormous” bribes to make investments, offer construction contracts, help with promotions and provide other favours.

He asked for or collected 1.8 billion Chinese yuan over a decade, the court said. It said one bribe exceeded 600 million yuan. The official was also convicted of embezzling more than 25 million yuan and starting a second family while still married to his first wife.

Mr. Lai “endangered national financial security and financial stability,” said a commentary on the state TV website.

The death penalty “was his own responsibility, and he deserved it,” the commentary added.

Most death sentences imposed by Chinese courts are suspended for two years and usually commuted to life. Death penalties without the chance of a reprieve are rare.

Sunday Akintoye

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