Friday, August 07, 2009

Beijing airport ex-head executed!

Air China planes at Beijing's international airport - file photo
Beijing's airport is owned by the state's Capital Airport Holdings

The former head of the state-firm that owns Beijing airport has been executed following his conviction on corruption charges, state media have reported.

Li Peiying was found guilty of bribery and embezzlement totalling nearly $16m (£11m), Xinhua news agency said.

The death sentence is usually reserved for violent crimes but is occasionally used for cases of major fraud.

China executes more people than any other country but last month the Supreme Court said fewer would be held.

Li was executed in Jinan, capital of the eastern province of Shandong, after the Supreme People's Court upheld a lower court's rejection of his appeal.

From 1995-2003 he was head of the state-owned Capital Airports Holdings, a huge firm with 30 airports across nine provinces in China.

He was found guilty in February of accepting about $4m in bribes and stealing a further $12m in public funds.

The amounts are small compared to the $260m allegedly squandered by another senior official, Kang Rixin, the general manager of China's National Nuclear Corporation.

He is accused of trading money earmarked for the construction of three nuclear plants and trading it on the stock exchange, with heavy losses, says the BBC's Chris Hogg in Shanghai.

He is also accused of accepting bribes from a foreign company that wanted to build nuclear power stations in China.

His investigation, and the execution of Li Peiying, are further signs that China is determined to punish corruption among high-ranking officials, says our correspondent.

On Thursday two business people were executed, convicted of defrauding investors of more than $120m.

Du Yimin and Si Chaxian "seriously damaged the country's financial regulatory order and social stability", the Supreme People's Court ruled.


BBC NEWS REPORT.

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