A former Chinese corruption official was executed on Thursday for accepting more than 4.7 million USD in bribes. Zeng Jinchun, a chief inspector for the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) [official website] in the central province of Hunan, accepted bribes in return for mining contracts and job promotions over a decade, ending in 2006. In addition to his conviction on charges of bribery, Zeng was also found guilty of not being able to account for some of his assets. Zeng was sentenced to death [Xinhua report] by the Intermediate People's Court of Changsha City in 2008 and he was executed by firing squad after an appeals court rejected his appeal and the Supreme People's Court (SPC) [official website] approved the execution. Zeng's execution came one day after Beijing officials pledged to crack down on corruption [JURIST report] in the country.
This execution is a continuation of the Chinese government's on-going battle against what is perceived to be pervasive corruption [JURIST news archive] in official channels. In September, a member of the National People's Congress [official website] announced that the government never considered removing the death penalty [JURIST report] as a punishment for corruption during the consideration of an amendment to the criminal code. In July, the Chinese government executed a top judicial official [JURIST report] after a corruption probe in the southwestern city of Chongquing revealed he had taken nearly 2 million USD in bribes and had been protecting a number of organized crime gangs. In March, the Hebei Province People's High Court upheld a life sentence for former vice president of the SPC, Huang Songyou, who had been convicted [JURIST reports] of bribery and embezzlement. Earlier that month, the SPC president 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.