China sentences 58 in mine landslide case

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 30, 2010 16:00 hrs

Beijing, Sep 30 (IANS) Fifteen courts in China Thursday handed down sentences to 58 people after they were held responsible for a landslide at an illegal iron ore mine that killed 277 people in 2008.

Of the 58 convicted in Shanxi province, 34 were government officials, China Daily reported.

Zhang Peiliang, the mine owner, received the death penalty with a two-year reprieve.

He was sentenced for illegally purchasing and selling up to 4,400 kg explosives, illegally operating the mine and paying bribes of over 20 million yuan ($3 million) by the Intermediate People's Court in Linfen city.

Duan Bo, former police head of Yuncheng city, was sentenced to life imprisonment for taking bribes of over 24 million yuan ($3.6 million) by the Intermediate People's Court of Taiyuan city.

Zhou Jie, Linfen city's former vice mayor, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for taking bribes of more than 2.3 million yuan ($343,796) by the Intermediate People's Court of Shuozhou city.

The others were each sentenced to terms of between one year to up to 20 years imprisonment for either taking bribes or dereliction of duty.

A pile of iron ore collapsed at the mine Sep 8, 2008, triggering a landslide that destroyed a village, killing 277 people.

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