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Airport boss'death penalty appeal fails

A HIGHER court in eastern China upheld the death sentence for the former chairman of Beijing Capital International Airport Group Co.

The People's Higher Court of Shandong Province rejected Li Peiying's appeal this morning and sustained the death sentence issued by the court of first instance.

Li was found guilty of embezzling 82.5 million yuan (US$12 million) and accepting 26.6 million yuan in bribes during his tenure.

Most of the bribes he took were from Qin Hui, a Beijing-based entrepreneur and owner of the famous "Paradise" nightclub in the Beijing Great Wall Sheraton Hotel.

The indictment said Li took bribes to give loans or provide bank loan guarantees to others using Beijing airport's money from January 1995 to November 2003.

Qin testified in the court of first instance, the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, that he offered Li nearly 18.68 million yuan to lend him about 630 million yuan.

Li also embezzled as much as 82.5 million yuan from the airport's assets management subsidiary.

The Jinan Intermediate People's Court issued the death ruling on February 10.

Li appealed nine days later and the Shandong People's Higher Court heard the case on March 17.

Li's attorney said Li had returned all the illicit money and hadn't cause a huge loss to Beijing Capital International Airport Group Co.

Li's death sentence is waiting for the approval by the Supreme People's Court, as per China's criminal procedure law.

With its registered capital of 5 billion yuan and total assets of 53.8 billion yuan, the Beijing Capital International Airport Group Co, founded in December 2002, is China's first trans-regional airport group.

Under the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the state-owned airport giant owns, controls or has stakes of 31 airports nationwide and has major business in securities, insurance and real estate industries.


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