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Capital airport former chairman's death sentence upheld

A HIGHER court in eastern China has 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 maintained the death sentence issued by the court of the first instance.

Li was found guilty of embezzling 82.5 million yuan (US$12.07 million) and accepting 26.61 million yuan in bribes during his tenure.

Most of the bribes he took were from Qin Hui, a Beijing-based entrepreneur and the owner of the famous night club "Paradise" (Tianshang Renjian), in the five-star Beijing Great Wall Sheraton Hotel.

The indictment said Li offered loans or provided bank loan guarantees for others via money from the Capital Airport Group by taking advantage of his position and seeking bribes from January 1995 to November 2003.

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

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

The Jinan Intermediate People's Court issued the death sentence 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 in his defense earlier that Li had returned all the illicit money and did not cause a great loss to the Beijing Airport Co.

Li's death sentence now awaits approval from the Supreme People's Court.


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