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Former China Railways Official Sentenced to Death for Bribes

Image: China accelerates construction of high-speed railways
A file photo dated 04 August 2011 showing a China Railway High-speed (CRH) train travelling through Qingdao city in eastern China's Shandong province. WU HONG / EPA

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A Chinese court has sentenced a former top railways official to death with a two-year reprieve for taking nearly $8 million in bribes. The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court announced the verdict Friday against Zhang Shuguang, formerly the deputy chief engineer for the now-defunct Railway Ministry. The court also confiscated all of Zhang's personal assets. Suspended death sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment in China. Zhang's conviction comes more than a year after the former railway minister, Liu Zhijun, was convicted of corruption and received a suspended death sentence as part of a broader anti-graft campaign under President Xi Jinping. Liu and Zhang oversaw the rapid expansion of high-speed rail in China but also fostered a vast and deeply corrupt ministry empire that ran its own courts and police.

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