Sat, Aug 08, 2009 - Page 5 News List

State media report execution of former Beijing airport chief

AP , BEIJING

The former head of Beijing airport’s management company was executed yesterday following his conviction on corruption charges, state media reported.

An intermediate court found 60-year-old Li Peiying (李培英) guilty in February of accepting almost US$4 million in bribes and embezzling about US$12 million in public funds over the past 14 years, Xinhua news agency said.

Li was executed yesterday after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s rejection of his appeal, Xinhua said. The report did not say when the Supreme Court ruled and it did not describe the method of execution.

China has long struggled against corruption among high-level Communist Party officials, especially in state-owned enterprises in energy, transportation and other key sectors that wield vast power and influence.

In 2007, China executed the director of its food and drug agency for approving fake medicine in exchange for cash. One antibiotic was blamed for causing the deaths of at least 10 people.

The Capital Airports Holding Company of which Li was chairman operates more than 30 airports in nine Chinese provinces, with managing assets of more than 100 billion yuan (US$14 billion) and 38,000 employees, the company’s Web site showed.

In handing down its sentence in February, the Jinan Intermediate People’s Court said there was evidence that Li had solicited the bribes, making the crime more serious. It said the amount of public funds Li stole resulted in “extremely large economic losses” for the state and constituted an “extremely serious crime.”

China puts to death more people every year than all other countries combined, with 5,000 executions expected to take place this year, the Dui Hua Foundation in San Francisco said.

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