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Death sentence for corrupt official

AN official in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, has been sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes and illegal land deals.

The Nanjing Intermediate People's Court found Pan Yumei, 46, former assistant director of Nanjing's Qixia District, had taken 7.92 million yuan (US$1.16 million) and US$500,000 in bribes and set up a company with several other officials with illegal land transactions, Yangtze Evening Post reported yesterday.

The court issued the ruling on Wednesday and ordered the confiscation of all Pan's personal assets.

The reprieve stipulation means that Pan's sentence could be commuted to life imprisonment if she behaves properly during the period.

Her corruption was uncovered during the investigation of another case, which involved one of her subordinates ?? a key figure in her network and also the first person who offered her bribes.

The man, identified as Gao, was once Party secretary of a small village in Maigaoqiao.

Gao told a task force focusing on the corruption of Nanjing's postal service he had offered Pan hundreds of thousands of US dollars as a bribe in January 2007, the report said.

Nanjing's disciplinary department then launched a probe on Pan. She was taken away on February 26, 2007, by disciplinary officials for further investigation.

She confessed 13 days later. A task force seized 1.7 million yuan and US$530,000 in cash at her parents' home.

Pan began to accept bribes when Gao gave her two bottles of alcohol and 10,000 yuan in cash before the Spring Festival in 2000.

Gao then offered Pan US$10,000 as "pocket money" before she set off for an overseas government official training course in New Zealand in 2001.

Gao set up a development company in Maigaoqiao in 2003 in accordance with the government's policy of developing townships. Pan was Maigaoqiao's Party secretary during the period and helped Gao in several projects.

Pan also collaborated with other officials in illegal land trading. She set up a company to acquire 6.67 hectares of land at Maigaoqiao at below market price and made 15 million yuan by selling it.


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