Ex-Huarong chairman executed for corruption

(CHINA DAILY/XINHUA)     Updated : 2021-01-31

Lai Xiaomin, former board chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co, was executed for corruption on Friday after his death sentence was approved by the top court.

Lai was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and bigamy by a local court in Tianjin on Jan 5. The court sentenced Lai to death, deprived Lai of his political rights for life and confiscated all his assets.

Lai appealed, but the Tianjin High People's Court later ruled that the facts in the first trial were clear, the evidence was sufficient, the sentence appropriate and the trial was conducted according to procedure.

The court then submitted the sentence to the Supreme People's Court for review, as all death penalties in the country have to get final approval from the top court.

After the review, the top court acknowledged the ruling. According to the verdict, Lai took undue advantage of his various posts to provide benefits to others. In return, he illegally asked for and accepted money and gifts worth over 1.78 billion yuan ($276 million).

Lai also took advantage of his positions to embezzle and extort public funds of more than 25.13 million yuan. In addition, he had been living with someone besides his legal spouse as husband and wife for an extended period.

Given the fact that Lai committed three crimes, the bribery amounts were substantial and his behavior caused a huge loss to the country and the people, he should be severely punished even though he later cooperated with the probe, the top court said in a release.

The No 2 Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin carried out the execution after receiving the review result from the top court. Before the execution, Lai met with his close relatives, according to the release.

Xinhua contributed to this story.