By Aiyeku Timothy
The former head of a Chinese state asset firm has been executed for soliciting $300million in bribes and starting a secret second family despite his marriage to his ‘loyal wife’ on Friday.
Lai Xiaomin, an ex-Communist Party member, 58, failed to prove his innocence about receiving or seeking bribes totalling 1.79billion yuan ($278million) from 2008-18, as a senior banking regulator.
The chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co – a distressed debt group – was sentenced on January 5 by the Secondary Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin after he was also convicted on corruption and bigamy charges.
He met with close relatives before the execution was carried out by the Tianjin court on the orders of China’s Supreme People’s Court.
The Supreme court observed that Lai’s ‘significant meritorious service’ was not enough to earn him a more lenient punishment given the ‘facts, nature, circumstances and the degree of harm to society’ caused by his bribery crimes.
Lai gave a detailed televised confession on state broadcaster CCTV last January, which showed footage of safes and cabinets stuffed with cash in a Beijing apartment belonging to him.
He had abused his position in attempting to obtain the vast sum, the court previously said, describing the bribes as ‘extremely large’ and labelling the circumstances ‘particularly serious’.
Three other senior Communist Party members have been sentenced to death but later given a reprieve.