[JURIST] A Chinese Intermediate People's Court in Shandong sentenced former top anti-corruption official Wang Huayuan to death on Thursday for taking bribes. Wang confessed [Xinhua report] to taking 7.71 million yuan (USD $1.13 million) in bribes while he was secretary for discipline inspection for commissions in the Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces. The purpose of the bribes varied from business to employment to avoiding arrest. Wang was detained [AP report] in April 2009 as part of an ongoing effort by the Chinese government to stop corruption [JURIST news archive]. The sentence is suspended for two years and could become a life sentence due to Wang's confession and his return of the illegal assets.
The Chinese government and judiciary continue to stress the need to eradicate corruption. In July, the Chinese government instituted [JURIST report] regulations requiring officials to disclose details about their personal finances and legal statuses of their family members. Also in July, a top judicial official was executed [JURIST report] after a corruption probe revealed he had taken $2 million in bribes and protected organized crime gangs. In March, the Hebei Province People's High Court upheld a life sentence for the former vice president of China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) [official website, in Chinese], Huang Songyou, who had been convicted [JURIST reports] of bribery and embezzlement. Earlier that month, SPC president Wang Shengjun called for increased efforts to fight corruption [JURIST report] in the country's court system. In January, the SPC announced new anti-corruption rules [JURIST report] in an effort to increase public confidence in the rule of law.