Former Official Liu Confesses – Will he Escape Death Penalty?
On Sept. 24, Liu Tienan, former Vice Chairman of National
Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), faced trial
at Langfang People’s Intermediate Court, Hebei Province.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has publicized Liu’s
confession, claiming he has displayed a good attitude to his crimes,
and all his ill-gotten gains have been confiscated.
Observers analyze that returning all corrupt goods and money
has become a way to reduce corrupt officials’ punishment,
so Liu will likely be given a lenient sentence.
On the afternoon of Sept. 24, Liu appeared in court wearing a
black jacket.The court proceedings were blogged live
via Langfang’s official Weibo.
The live-blogged messages show that Liu, accused of using
his senior positions between 2002 to 2012,
accepted more than 35 million yuan ($6.4 million) in bribes
together with his son Liu Decheng.
Prosecutors said that all goods and cash bribes taken by Liu have
Liu has also confessed to an additional18 million yuan in bribes
that the court didn’t know of.
Because Liu has confessed his crimes with a good attitude,
they will give him a lenient sentence.
Zhang Zanning, China-based Professor of law school at
“There is an unwritten rule in China’s law:
Leniency to those who confess, severity to those who resist.
So if Liu’s confession is in favor of the regime’s needs,
he would likely be similar to Wang Lijun, and
receive a lenient sentence.”
The indictment stated that the investigation timeline went
to August 2011, the regime didn’t give an explanation why.
Liu said in court that when the central disciplinary department
was investigating him,in order to reduce his punishment, he wrote a
suggestion proposing how to fight corruption.
Prosecutors requested the court to decide whether Liu has
achieved advances with his suggestion.
The presiding judge said that they will fully consider it
in panel discussion.
Liu yinquan, US-based professor of Chinese history:
“According to the current sources, obviously they
will give him a light sentence.
Otherwise, such information won’t be disclosed.
‘Officials shield one another’, those who want to protect Liu
and are sympathetic to Liu, utilize this method to reduce
According to NDRC internal notice on Aug. 12, 2013,
apart from accepting more than 10 million yuan in bribes,
Liu alleged of using his position also gained 110 million yuan
along with his son Liu Decheng via illegal businesses dealings.
His wife Guo Jinghua illegally gained 38 milliion yuan and
accepted gifts worth 410,000 yuan.
In addition to Liu’s bribery cash, in total he was bribed
with over 150 million yuan.
Public opinion questioned the figures disclosed by the regime
before and after the trial.
Is there any issue with the 50 projects that Liu quickly
approved three months before he stepped down?
During the trial, Liu’s wife hasn’t been mentioned,
What role did she performed?
Will she be investigated in a separate case?
Liu Yinquan: “Most of the time the CCP punishes its officials
it does not sound too serious. It seems some of his crimes haven’t
Obviously the CCP wanted to cover up his crimes,
to reduce his punishment.”
Zhang Zanning: “For the CCP officials, there is no way to
investigate each detail of bribery.
Liu’s many assets don’t balance with his income.
There are many reasons. One is that finding the evidence is difficult.
For example, he was charged with a 100 counts of bribery
in his case., it will be good if just 40 counts can be cleared out.
During the trial, the figures given are certainly smaller
than the estimated one.”
Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reported what Liu has said
after being arrested, that he was not sure whether to help the
regime fight corruption or not.
But it certainly has three major encouragements for corrupt
officials on how to reduce their punishment:
One is to be so corrupt in their office, until there is no way
for the regime to investigate the details.
Second is to confess actively after being arrested, and
return bribery goods and cash,
Three is at least they will be seen displaying a good attitude to
their crimes, and thus they can be free from the death penalty.
Liu Yinquan says that under the CCP dictatorship, and
without any supervision from other [opposition] Parties.
The officials’ crimes have always been covered up,
the CCP has never truly fought corruption.
Interview & Edit/Kai Xin Post-Production/Su Can