A disgraced Chinese banker has been handed the death sentence after he admitted to accepting more than £200m in bribes.
Lai Xiaomin was also found guilty of bigamy after living “as man and wife long periods” outside of his marriage.
Lai confessed to the crimes in an extraordinary TV interview with a state broadcaster before the trial, but a local court showed no mercy yesterday.
Alongside bribery and bigamy, Lai was found guilty of embezzling over 25m yuan (£2.8m) in public funds.
One corrupt payoff, the court found, exceeded 600m yuan (£68m).
The banker was formally chairman of a major state-owned wealth firm, Huarong Asset Management.
Despite telling CCTV he “did not spend a single penny”, Lai will have all personal assets confiscated – including his luxury cars and bars of gold.
Lai, whose investigation began in April 2018 under President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, is the latest in a series of high-profile financial executives targeted by authorities.
The ruling comes as a surprise to some, as capital punishment remains an uncommon penalty for corruption crimes after China increased the threshold from 100,000 yuan to 3 million yuan (£342,000) in 2016.
Critics have said that the anti-corruption campaign is a ploy by the President to extinguish his political opponents.