A Chinese court has sentenced that nation’s ex-railways minister Liu Zhijun to a suspended death sentence on charges of corruption and abuse of power. He gave out government rail contracts for bribes that totaled to 64 million Yuan or $10 million over a period of 25 years. He is the highest ranking official to be put on trial since China’s new leader Xi Jinping has assumed office earlier this year.
The death sentence comes with a two year hiatus and he has been devoid of his political rights for life. He has been jailed for ten years and there will be confiscation of his personal property. He could escape death penalty as normally suspended death sentences are commuted to life imprisonment terms in China.
The communist party had earlier suspended Liu last May in the wake of the corruption allegations. He has been accused of favoring 11 people to win contracts and promotions by taking bribes. The once powerful Chinese rail ministry was disbanded in March following a series of safety issues and fraud.