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Reprieve of death sentence for Wang

A KEY figure in Shanghai's pension fund scandal has been sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve by a court in northeastern China's Jilin Province.

Wang Weigong, once a secretary at the General Office of the State Council, abused his position for personal profit and took bribes totaling 12.9 million yuan (US$1.89 million) from company executives from 1995 to 2006.

The death penalty was suspended for two years, the Changchun Intermediate People's Court of Jilin Province said last Friday, because Wang had cooperated and all the money had been returned.

Wang was expelled from the Party and dismissed from his post as deputy general manager of the state-ownedShenergy Group.

Zhang Rongkun, another key figure in the scandal, bribed government officials through his two investment companies, Fuxi Investment and Feidian Investment, with a total of 29 million yuan, of which 9.33 million yuan was paid to Wang between September 2001 and June 2007.

Zhang was given a 19-year jail term last year and had 1.6 billion yuan of assets confiscated.

Wang introduced Zhang to Chen Liangyu, former Party chief of Shanghai. Chen helped Zhang acquire a state-owned company by lending Zhang billions of yuan from the city's pension fund.

Chen was jailed for 18 years last year for taking bribes of 2.4 million yuan and abusing his power as governor of Huangpu District and Party chief.

The scandal involved the misappropriation of 3.7 billion yuan of the pension fund, including 3.45 billion yuan in principal and 250 million yuan in interest. Twenty-five government and company officials have been or will be tried for their alleged involvement.


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