The China Daily reports:
Guo Jingyi, a former high-ranking inspector of the treaty and law department of the Ministry of Commerce, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on Thursday for accepting 8.45 million yuan ($1.24 million) in bribes.
The sentence means Guo’s behavior in prison will be assessed for two years, following which he will have a chance to appeal for leniency. In China, death sentences with reprieves are usually commuted to life imprisonment…
…As a department chief-level inspector, Guo is the ministry’s highest ranking official to have been convicted since its founding in 2003.
The court agreed that the bribes Guo received included about 4.4 million yuan, $250,000, HK$220,000 ($28,197) and also a profit of about 1.6 million yuan from purchasing property at far below the market rate.
According to the procuratorate, from 2004 to 2007 Guo accepted bribes twice, totaling 1.1 million yuan, from home appliance giant Gome Group to help it transfer equity and pass an anti-monopoly inspection.
The Gome Group is the company founded by billionaire Huang Guangyu, famously once China’s richest man, just recently sentenced to 14 years behind bars for insider trading and corrupt business practices.
Other offiicials caught up in a web of corruption with Guo Jingyi are Liu Wei, a former official from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and Xu Gangman, a former official in the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Liu and Xu have both been detained and investigated, but not yet sentenced.
It is not clear whethere Liu and Xu have any connection to Gome or Huang Guangyu, but whatever they’ve done together with Guo Jingyi is bound to come out in the two years he’ll spend in jail contemplating a death sentence. If he has not spilled the dirt on them already.
- The China Daily: High-ranking inspector convicted
- Danwei: Huang Guangyu behind bars (May 19 front page story), The richest man in China (2004)
- Danwei: A foreigner’s life in a Beijing jail (prison diary of foreigner held in same detention center as Huang before his conviction)
- ChinaStakes: MoC Foreign Investment Corruption Case Involves Officials, Lawyers (2008 story about Guo’s detention, mentions Huang Guangyu)
- Caijing: MOFCOM Official Detained, Foreign Investment Process in Graft Storm (2008 stories about Guo)