BEIJING (AFP) – China has sentenced the head of a state-owned company to death for corruption involving nearly 400 million yuan ($64.8 million), state media reported, in a rare instance of an official being condemned to die.
Communist Party authorities have waged a much-publicised anti-graft campaign since Xi Jinping ascended to the organisation’s leadership two years ago, with the powerful former security czar Zhou Yongkang being the highest-ranking official ensnared.
But while China executes more people than the rest of the world combined, according to rights groups, it is very rare for corrupt officials to face the ultimate penalty.
A court in the southern city of Guangzhou convicted Zhang Xinhua, former general manager of the Baiyun Industrial and Agricultural Corporation, of bribery and embezzlement on Wednesday, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the verdict.
Zhang was found to have embezzled company assets worth more than 280 million yuan since 2003, it said.
Zhang’s conviction came on the same day that Liu Tienan, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency, was sentenced to life in prison for graft.