Sinopec's Corrupt Ex-Chief Gets Death Sentence
Chen Tonghai, the former head of Sinopec, China's largest company, has been given a suspended death sentence after being convicted of taking $28.8m in bribes over his eight years as a senior executive.
Mr Chen's case attracted particular attention because he was a high-profile state executive and the son of a revolutionary leader.
The authorities humiliated him and a number of other officials arrested at about the same time by allowing publication of details of how they had shared a mistress. The woman, who was later detained herself over her property deals, was linked to the then finance minister as well as the party secretary of the city of Qingdao, who both lost their jobs. She was reputedly involved with more than a dozen officials of vice-minister status and above, in return for business favours.
Mr Chen was sentenced to death but suspended it for two years, state media reported, because he had expressed remorse, returned the money and provided information on other offenders. People given a suspended death penalty typically have the sentence commuted.
After Mr Chen's arrest, investigators found cash stashed in his house in fish tanks, the toilet and under roof tiles.
Although Mr Chen was formally tried and convicted in court, his real trial was conducted beforehand by the Communist party. The party has its own anti-corruption body with power to detain officials and investigate allegations of graft. Its findings are in effect binding on the courts.