Former bank chief executed in China after bribery conviction
Beijing: The former head of a Chinese state-owned asset management company was executed on Friday on charges of taking bribes in an unusually severe penalty for a recent corruption case.
Lai Xiaomin of China Huarong Asset Management Co was among thousands of officials snared in a long-running anti-graft campaign led by President Xi Jinping. Others including China’s former insurance regulator have been sentenced to prison.
Lai Xiaomin was sentenced to death for taking bribes.Credit:AP
Lai, 58, was put to death by a court in Tianjin, east of Beijing, the government announced.
The Second Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin ruled in January that death was justified because Lai took “especially enormous” bribes to make investments, offer construction contracts, help with promotions and provide other favors.
Lai asked for or collected 1.8 billion yuan ($340 million) over a decade, the court said. It said one bribe exceeded 600 million yuan. He also was convicted of embezzling more than 25 million yuan and starting a second family while still married to his first wife.
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 said.
Most death sentences imposed by Chinese courts are suspended for two years and usually are commuted to life. Death penalties without the chance of a reprieve are rare.
Huarong is one of four entities created in the 1990s to buy non-performing loans from government-owned banks. They expanded into banking, insurance, real estate finance and other fields.
Lai was placed under investigation by the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog in 2018 and expelled from the party later the same year.
Lai also was accused of squandering public money, illegally organising banquets, engaging in sexual dealings with multiple women and taking bribes, the anti-corruption agency said in 2018.
Investigators seized hundreds of millions of yuan in cash from Lai’s properties, the Chinese business news magazine Caixin reported in 2018.
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