China has sentenced the former Communist Party boss from the southwestern province of Yunnan to death with a two-year reprieve for bribery, the latest official to fall in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping war on graft.
Bai Enpei, 70, abused his posts, including as party chief in Yunnan until 2011 and earlier as the top official in the western province of Qinghai, illegally amassing more than 247 million yuan ($37 million) in assets, a court said.
“The amount of bribes Bai Enpei accepted was huge, the details of his crimes extremely serious, and their social impact especially pernicious,” the Anyang city intermediate court in the central province of Henan said on its official microblog. The court decided on the death sentence with reprieve, which typically amounts to life in prison, because Bai had admitted to his crimes and expressed regret, and because the illicit assets were recovered in full, it said.
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Bai went on trial in June, but the court statement gave few other details of his case. He could not be reached for comment. Courts are controlled by the party and do not challenge party accusations, especially in corruption cases.
China is in the midst of a crackdown on graft launched by Xi after he assumed power almost four years ago, warning the problem was so serious it threatened the party’s survival. Dozens of senior officials have been jailed in the campaign, including former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.