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China ex-minister bags death sentence over bribery, stock market manipulation

By Esther Kalu

An Intermediate People’s Court, sitting in Changchun, northeast China’s Jilin Province, has sentenced Chinese former Vice  Minister of Public Security, Sun Lijun, to a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes, manipulating stock market, and illegally possessing firearms.

Part of the judgment delivered against Sun was that the former minister would also be deprived of his political rights for life, while all his personal assets go under confiscation.

The court, on Friday, was said to have established that Sun received money and valuables totaling more than 92.39 million U.S. dollars by taking advantage of various positions he held between 2001 and April 2020.

The court also found that Sun manipulated stock trading in the first half of 2018, helping some other people avoid a loss of 145 million yuan.

According to the court, Sun also illegally possessed two guns and the sum of bribes Sun had taken was specially huge, and his crimes caused a specially heavy loss to the interests of the state and people.

It added that the circumstance of his crime in manipulating the stock market was particularly serious, and that in illegally possessing firearms was serious.

The court explained that Sun was granted a lenient sentence, considering that he had provided investigators with clues to other major cases, contributing to a major meritorious service for the investigation.

It added that the former minister had also confessed to all of his crimes, including some acts of bribe-taking that investigators were not initially aware of.

The court noted that Sun had shown repentance, been cooperative in returning his illegal gains and that after the two-year reprieve for his death sentence, the former minister’s sentence could be commuted to life in prison in accordance with the law, but no further reduction or parole shall be given to him.

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