CHINA: FORMER MAYOR GETS TOUGH SENTENCE FOR GRAFT
May 9, 2011: The former mayor of China's Shenzhen city was given a suspended death sentence for bribery, state media said.
A court in the central province of Henan sentenced Xu Zongheng to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes of more than 33 million yuan ($5 million), Xinhua news agency said. His personal assets have also been seized.
Such rulings are typically commuted to life in prison.
Xu, 56, was removed as mayor in June 2009 during a sweeping crackdown on graft in Shenzhen, which lies just north of Hong Kong.
He took bribes from building material companies and officials between 2001 and 2009, when he served as a high-ranking official in Shenzhen and then mayor from 2005, the report said.
President Hu Jintao and other top leaders have repeatedly called endemic corruption in China a threat to the ruling Communist Party's legitimacy. (Sources: Afp, 09/05/2011)