Former vice-governor receives life sentence

2019-07-19 10:05:34China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Pu Bo. (Photo/CGTN)

Pu Bo, former vice-governor of Guizhou province, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Nanjing Intermediate People's Court in Jiangsu province on Thursday for taking bribes of more than 71.2 million yuan ($10.6 million).

Pu's personal properties were ordered confiscated, and the bribes and gains from such would be repaid to the State treasury, according to the court ruling. Pu said he agreed with the judgment and will not appeal.

From 1999 to 2017, Pu took advantage of his positions in Sichuan province - he had served as vice-mayor of Guang'an city, mayor of Bazhong city and the Party chief of Deyang city - to assist others in corporate restructuring, construction project contracting and personal promotions, the ruling said.

Between 1998 and 2018, Pu accepted money and property worth more than 71.2 million yuan on his own or through others, it added.

"Pu's actions constituted the crime of bribery, and the amount of bribes he accepted was extremely huge, so he should receive criminal punishment," the court said.

"But given that he confessed to the crime, provided some criminal facts that had not been found by investigators and returned all the illicit gains, we decided to leniently penalize him," the court added.

Born in 1963, Pu, a Sichuan native, began his career in August 1981. He was appointed vice-mayor of Guang'an in 1999 and became mayor of Bazhong in 2008. He later became Party chief of Deyang in 2015.

Pu took the position of vice-governor of Guizhou in January 2018. Four months later, he was placed under investigation. He was expelled from the office in early November.

In a separate case, Huo Ronggui, former deputy director of the agriculture and rural affairs committee of the Gansu Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, pleaded guilty to bribery, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of power at a court in the province's Dingxi city on Thursday.

Prosecutors from Dingxi accused Huo of making use of his work posts - as deputy director of the general office of the Gansu provincial government and Party chief in the province's Wuwei city - from 2004 to 2016 to offer illegal aid to others, including in promotions, business operations, construction projects and land development approval.

In return, Huo accepted bribes amounting to more than 13 million yuan in cash or properties, according to the indictment.

As for the embezzlement, prosecutors said Huo asked a person in charge of a State-owned enterprise to lend 50 million yuan to a private company, but only 1 million yuan was paid back after the loan expired.

He also asked someone in charge to give a State-owned desert covering more than 13 million square meters to a private company in September 2012. The company pledged more than 6.6 million square meters of the land as security for a loan of 300 million yuan from a bank, but more than 250 million yuan was not returned, it said.

On June 13 last year, the bank disposed of the 250 million yuan as a nonperforming asset to an asset management company, and the company transferred the asset for about 81 million yuan, causing a financial loss of State assets of more than 170 million yuan, it added.

The Dingxi Intermediate People's Court publicly heard the case and fully protected the defendant's legitimate rights during the trial. The judgment will be announced at a later date, the court said.

Huo was placed under investigation in July 2018 and expelled from the Communist Party of China and his position in January.

Born in 1962, Gansu native Huo started his job in 1981.

He took up the position of the deputy director of the agriculture and rural affairs committee of the Gansu Committee of the CPPCC in 2017.

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