Nature

A Canadian tycoon sentenced to 13 years in prison in China for corruption


Canadian tycoon of Chinese origin Xiao Jianhua, who disappeared from a hotel in Hong Kong in 2017, was sentenced to 13 years in prison, the Chinese justice announced on Friday.

Xiao was one of the richest men in China at the time of his arrest, with an estimated fortune of $6 billion.

The businessman was convicted of “diversion of public funds” and “illegal use of funds,” the Shanghai No. 1 Court, in which he was prosecuted, said in a statement.

The disappearance of this businessman, considered close to high-ranking Chinese communist leaders, caused a strong impact at the time.

According to press reports, he was captured in a Hong Kong hotel by Beijing agents, and his arrest, which was later kept silent, was part of the extensive anti-corruption campaign launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2012. .

Xiao’s alleged kidnapping in Hong Kong came at a time when mainland Chinese agents were not authorized to operate in the semi-autonomous territory.

The businessman’s capture raised fears that other Hong Kongers could be forcibly taken to mainland China, where justice is largely subservient to the Chinese Communist Party. Those fears fueled the massive pro-democracy demonstrations held in Hong Kong in 2019.

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