Former Qinghai official gets life sentence for corruption

Mao Xiaobing, a former high-ranking official from northwest China's Qinghai Province, was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for taking bribes and embezzling public funds.

The Intermediate People's Court in the city of Lanzhou found that Mao, former member of the standing committee of the Communist Party of China Qinghai Provincial Committee, had accepted bribes worth over 104 million yuan (15 million U.S. dollars) and embezzled 400 million yuan in public funds.

Mao was also deprived of his political rights, his personal property will be confiscated and illicit gains will be turned over to the state treasury, according to the court sentence.

The court verdict said that between 1995 and 2013, Mao took advantage of his various official positions to seek benefits regarding project contracts, stock acquisitions, purchasing and sales of products and real estate developments on behalf of others.

In exchange, he extorted or accepted money or gifts from companies and individuals.

The court also found that in 2006, Mao had taken advantage of his post and embezzled public funds for other businesses.

The court said that in deciding the sentence, they took into consideration that Mao had extorted bribes, which deserves harsher punishment, but also that he had confessed, shown remorse, cooperated in returning illegal gains and provided information about other people's violations during the investigation, facts that may warrant leniency.

Mao said that he will not appeal.