19 sentenced for ties to Sun Xiaoguo crime case

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KUNMING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) — Nineteen defendants, mainly civil servants, were Sunday sentenced to jail terms of various lengths for ties to a high-profile organized crime case, the Sun Xiaoguo case in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

Sun’s stepfather Li Qiaozhong, former head of the urban management bureau of Wuhua District in Kunming, capital of Yunnan, was sentenced to 19 years while Sun’s mother Sun Heyu was sentenced to 20 years.

Both of them were punished for multiple crimes, including bending the law for personal gain, malpractice to reduce punishment, and accepting and offering bribes.

The 19 defendants stood trial at eight different courts across Yunnan, including the Intermediate People’s Court of Yuxi city.

In 1998, Sun was sentenced to death having been found guilty of rape, insulting women by forcible means, intentionally inflicting injury upon others and creating disturbances, but finally received 20 years of imprisonment after a retrial in 2007.

After several reductions in his sentence, he was released in 2010, serving only 12 years and five months in prison.

In July 2019, the Yunnan Provincial Higher People’s Court decided that the verdict in 2007 was incorrect and the case should be reheard. Sun was retried on Oct. 14, but the court has yet to announce the verdict.

In a separate case, Sun was handed a 25-year prison term for committing multiple crimes including organizing and leading mafia-like organizations.

The mafia-like organizations were found to have committed the crimes of opening casinos, creating disturbances, illegally taking others into custody, intentionally inflicting injury upon others, gathering crowds for fighting, obstructing witnesses giving evidence and offering bribes, and conducted other illegal acts.

The 19 defendants also include Luo Zhengyun, former inspector of the provincial department of justice, Zhu Xu, former deputy head of the provincial administration of prisons, and Liang Zi’an, former member of the panel of judges of the Yunnan Higher People’s Court.

The defendants were found guilty of accepting bribes and other crimes. The verdicts said they played various roles in helping secure lenient sentence in Sun’s trial or illegally obtaining penalty reductions for him.

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