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Court in China Sentences Ex-Railway Minister to Death

RIA Novosti

07:41 08/07/2013 MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti) - A court in China sentenced on Monday a former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, to death penalty with a two-year reprieve after finding him guilty of bribery and abuse of power, Xinhua news agency reported.

Liu was accused of taking advantage of his position to help 11 people win promotions and project contracts, and accepting 64.6 million yuan ($10.53 million) in bribes from them between 1986 and 2011.

Liu, 60, was appointed railways minister in 2003. He was sacked in 2011 on suspicion of "serious disciplinary violations" and in 2012 he was expelled from the Communist Party of China.

Xinhua earlier reported that Liu's removal was also believed to be linked to the high-speed train collision in July 2011 that killed 40 passengers and injured 172 others, the tragedy that was blamed on improper management.

China’s newly-elected President Jinping has earlier pledged a resolute fight against corruption at all levels.

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