Former Chinese Railways Minister Liu Zhijun has been convicted of corruption and given the death penalty with a two year suspension. Such sentences are often commuted to life imprisonment, but the ruling means Liu will spend at least 10 years behind bars.
Liu was a driving force behind the modernisation of China’s rail system – and analysts suggest that his efficiency meant that other officials tended to turn a blind eye to his malfeasance.
He was charged in April with abuse of power, malpractice and taking up to 7 million euros in bribes – conduct that led to huge losses of public assets, according to local media.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, has made tackling corruption a key aim of his administration – and Liu is the highest-ranking official to be sentenced since Xi took power last year.