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Official Sentenced to Death for Taking Bribes

Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court Thursday upheld the death sentence against Wang Huaizhong, former vice-governor of Anhui Province, for taking bribes and owning many possessions he could not account for.

Wang appealed to the provincial higher people's court after he was sentenced to death by the Intermediate People's Court of JinanCity.

During the first trial on Dec. 29, Wang denied all the allegations, but in the latest trial, he confessed to most of the crimes and argued for a light penalty on the grounds that the bribes he had taken were not big enough to justify a death penalty. 

Wang allegedly had taken bribes of 5.17 million yuan (US$623,000) from 1994 to 2001 and owned 4.8 million yuan (US$579,948) worth of possessions that he could not account for.

Wang was vice-governor of Anhui from 1999, before which he was secretary of the municipal committee of the Communist Party of China in Fuyang City of Anhui.

He was detained and investigated in September 2002 by the Supreme People's Procuratorate on suspicion of taking bribes, and he was arrested in October the same year.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2004)

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