Ex-Chongqing Cop, Tang Jianhua, Given Suspended Death Sentence

Created: 2013-05-15 14:33 EST

Category: China
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Chongqing’s deputy police chief Tang Jianhua has been given a suspended death sentence for bribery. The news came on Wednesday, after state-run media reported on Monday that he was fired from his position and expelled from the Chinese Communist Party.

But according to Beijing lawyer, Li Zhuang, this announcement is months overdue.

[Li Zhuang, Beijing Lawyer]:
“Tang Jianhua was arrested last August and sentenced to death in February 2013, but it has not been disclosed."

Tang has been accused of taking bribes worth $2.7 million or almost 17 million yuan. But Wednesday’s announcement by a Chongqing court did not give any details on when Tang was actually sentenced.

Zhang Zanning, a law professor at Southeast University, says the murky details surrounding Tang is a reflection of China’s legal system.

[Professor Zhang Zanning, Nanjing Lawyer]:
“Xi Jinping wants rule by constitution, and rule by law, but I think there is a long way to go before that happens. There are big blocks in the judiciary and the rule of law.”

Tang Jianhua was a deputy to Wang Lijun, the right hand man to ousted Chongqing Party boss Bo Xilai.

After Bo Xilai’s fall, his forces in Chongqing have gradually been cleared away. At least four senior officials at the Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau have been sentenced.

Professor Zhang believes the way that Tang’s case has been handled indicates discord at the top level of the Communist Party towards Bo Xilai.

[Professor Zhang Zanning, Nanjing Lawyer]:
"The judiciary cannot follow proper procedures, due to external factors, human factors. The human interference is quite obvious, and that’s why we saw this happen.”

Bo Xilai has been held in secret detention since being ousted last year. He’s awaiting trial for crimes including bribery and abuse of power. No details have been given on when Bo will actually face court.