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Sentence of death for corrupt official

AN official working for the preservation program of the Xixi National Wetland Park in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on Monday, after being convicted of taking bribes worth nearly 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million).

The Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court found Wu Shaowen, vice director of Xihu District's construction bureau, had taken bribes together with two other officials, called Xia Zhiyu and Zhang Jian°?cheng, from the end of 2003 to February 2008, Beijing-based Procuratorial Daily reported yesterday.

Xia was given a jail term of 13 years while Zhang got 11 years behind bars.

Ye Zaiyang and Yang Liang°?fu, who offered bribes to the three, were also found guilty. The court sentenced Ye to seven years behind bars. Yang got three years with a probation of three years.

Wu formerly worked in the planning department and the chief engineer's office.

Ye gave Wu and the others 3.47 million yuan and Yang handed over 457,000 yuan in exchange for construction and engineering contracts.

Wu, Xia and Zhang invited bids from construction firms but rigged the bids after agreeing with the winning firms how much cash they would hand over.

Prosecutors from Xihu District began investigating Wu on May 14 last year. Others involved in the case were seized shortly afterward.

Wu and his family returned 1.28 million yuan of illicit money. Xia gave back more than 1.4 million yuan, the report said.

The Xixi National Wetland Park is the only national wetland park in China.

It has an area of 10.64 square kilometers, which is crisscrossed with six main watercourses, plus ponds, lakes and swamps.


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