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Senior adviser gets death sentence with reprieve

By YANG ZEKUN and CUI JIA | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-01-18 09:21

Wang Fuyu, a former top political adviser in Guizhou province, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve by a court in Tianjin on Monday for accepting more than 434 million yuan ($68.4 million) in bribes.

The Tianjin First Intermediate People's Court handed down the sentence after public hearings of Wang's case in November. Wang, 69, former chairman of the Guizhou Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told the court he would not appeal.

The court also deprived Wang of his political rights for life and confiscated all his personal property.

From 1995 to last year, Wang took advantage of his positions, including being Party chief of the cities of Sanya and Haikou in Hainan province and the top political adviser in Guizhou, to seek benefits for related companies and individuals in business operations, planning approvals and career advancement. In return, he received money and property totaling 434 million yuan.

Even after he retired in 2018, Wang still took advantage of his influence to accept property worth 17.3 million yuan from others in 2019 and 2020.

Wang's behavior constituted the crime of taking bribes and using his influence to take bribes, the court said, adding that the amount of bribery involved was extremely huge and the criminal circumstances were particularly serious, causing a bad social impact and heavy losses to the interests of the country and the people.

Given that Wang voluntarily surrendered, confessed to the bribery, actively returned the property he received and had all of his illegal gains recovered by investigators, the court gave him a reprieve from the death penalty.

Wang Heng, deputy director of an inspection office of the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said in a new five-part documentary series on China's anti-graft efforts that Wang Fuyu didn't show any sign of stopping even after the CPC's 18th National Congress in 2012, during which the Party vowed to beef up its anti-graft efforts.

"About 70 percent of the bribes Wang took were after 2012 while more than 30 percent were taken after the CPC's 19th National Congress in 2017, when more measures were established to fight and prevent corruption," Wang Heng said in the second episode of the documentary series Zero Tolerance, which aired on China Central Television on Sunday night. "He always believed that he could get away with it."

Wang Fuyu had been taking bribes since the 1990s. He was still taking money from private business owners days before he was put under investigation in February, Wang Heng said.

"Although Wang Fuyu covered his tracks well and had retired, the probe into his case has shown there is no "no-go zone" when it comes to fighting corruption," he said.

Wang Fuyu was quoted in the documentary as saying: "I don't know why I want to have so much money when I am already living a prosperous life. The money can only bury me. I have realized how greedy I have been but I still don't know what my money is for."

Wang Fuyu became even more obsessed with taking bribes after 2012, when he started working at the CPPCC Guizhou provincial committee, because he knew it would be the last chance to make more money before his retirement.

Wang Fu, his brother, asked him to pack it in after seeing so many corrupt provincial-level officials being caught.

Wang Fuyu also became obsessed with playing golf, and found that courses were the perfect places for him to arrange deals. He even asked businessmen to fly him to golf courses around China in private jets, according to the investigation.

A pair of couplets hanging in the living room of a golf course villa that Wang Fuyu took as a bribe ironically read "Officials should never forget that they come from the people and they should never deceive the public", the documentary revealed.

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