Death sentence for corrupt China airport chief: report
Wed, Feb 11, 2009

BEIJING, CHINA, Feb 11, 2009 (AFP) - A Chinese court has sentenced the former boss of 30 airports including Beijing's to death for bribery and embezzlement totalling around US$15 million ($22.48 million), state press reported on Wednesday.

Li Peiying, former board chairman and general manager of Capital Airports Holding Company, received the sentence Tuesday from a court in east China's Shandong province, the Beijing Times reported.

Li, 59, was found guilty of seeking or accepting more than US$3 million while in his post from 1995-2003, the paper said.

In return for the bribes, he used his position to act as a guarantor for other businesses seeking to get loans from banks, it said.

Li also misappropriated about 12 million yuan ($2.63 million) for personal use from 2000-2003, the paper said, citing the court in the city of Jinan.

The court imposed the death penalty because of the "extraordinary" scale of Li's corrupt activities, it said.

The holding company, which is under the Civil Aviation Administration of China, is a major state-owned enterprise.

It controls 30 airports in nine provinces and has more than 38,000 staff.

Massive corruption has emerged as one of the greatest scourges attending China's economic resurgence in the past three decades and the Communist Party often hands down harsh sentences to show it is serious about the problem.

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