12 August 2015
Military court of the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) gave a suspended death sentence with a two-year reprieve to former lieutenant general, Gu Junshan, 58. He was deputy chief of logistics in the army. He was charged with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power. He was stripped of his army rank and political rights for life.
In China, suspended death sentence is usually commuted to a life imprisonment Gu was given a lenient sentence because he cooperated with the authorities and gave information on crimes committed by others. His illegal gains were also recovered. His trial was behind closed doors as it involved military secrets.
He was detained in 2012. This time frame can be said to be the beginning of the corruption crackdown of the army. After that two top generals and Military Commission vice-chairmen, Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong, were brought to trial. Gu was a close ally of Xu.
Many gold treasures were confiscated from Gu. These included a pure gold statue of late leader Mao Zedong, a gold wash basin, a model boat made of gold. These were found in one of his ancestral homes in Henan province. Gu’s two brothers owned houses next to the ancestral property. The three houses were joined by 30 meter basement which was found to contain crates of expensive liquor.
He owned dozens of apartments in Beijing and is said to have pocketed 6% of a sale of military land in Shanghai at $320 million.
Gu is said to have come to power by bribing his superior, Xu. It was reported that Gu gave a 20 million Yuan debit card as a wedding present to Xu’s daughter.
In another case former Chairman of state owned Bright Food was sentenced 18 years for embezzling $30 million. Wang Zongnan took bribes amounting to $439,000. Court seized $160,000 in personal assets from him. He was also ordered to return nearly $ 2 million as his ill gotten gains.
Wang’s parents bought two villas in Shanghai developed by a state owned investment company at below market price at $330,000. These villas were later sold for $2.4 million.