May 31, 2017 / 2:19 PM / 2 years ago

China's court sentences ex-chairman of Wuhan Iron and Steel to 15 years in prison

A statue of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong is seen in front of smoking chimneys at Wuhan Iron And Steel Corp in Wuhan, Hubei province, March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The former chairman of China’s major steel maker Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corp has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for taking bribes, a Chinese court said on Wednesday, as President Xi Jinping steps up efforts to clamp down on corruption.

Deng Qilin was also fined 5 million yuan (£566,500), the Intermediate People's Court of Foshan in southern China's Guangdong Province said on its website (here).

Deng’s illicit gains will be confiscated by the state treasury, the court said.

Between 2000 and 2015, when he held several posts at Wuhan Iron and Steel, Deng had accepted bribes worth about 55.4 million yuan in return for favours in business, project construction and promotions, the court said.

Deng’s sentence was relatively light as he had cooperated with investigators, handed over the proceeds of his crime, and provided information about crimes committed by others, it said.

China has been trying to stamp out graft, with President Xi vowing to weed out all corrupt officials, from powerful “tigers” to lowly “flies”.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Chinese court jailed for life the former head of the statistics bureau Wang Baoan after finding him guilty of corruption.

Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Catherine Evans

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