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

China: a Canadian tycoon sentenced to 13 years in prison for corruption

Xiao Jianhua speaking with reporters in Hong Kong, December 2013.

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

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

He has was found guilty in particular of embezzlement of public funds and illegal use of funds, indicated in a press release the Intermediate Court number 1 of Shanghai, where the businessman was tried.

His disappearance in 2017 caused a stir in Hong Kong.

Reputed to be close to the top Chinese communist leaders, he had according to press reports been abducted by Beijing agents.

Since then, little information has been known about him; case and the Chinese authorities remained silent.

The investigation against Xiao Jianhua seems to be part of the vast anti-corruption campaign launched by the Chinese president Xi Jinping upon coming to power in 2012.

Mr. Xiao's alleged abduction in Hong Kong occurred at a time when mainland Chinese agents were not allowed to operate in the semi-autonomous territory.

At the time, some feared that residents of the city could be forcibly taken away in this way. Neighboring mainland China, where justice is largely subject to the ruling Communist Party.

These fears were at the heart of the pro-democracy protests that have taken place. rocked Hong Kong in 2019.

Wealthy Canadian missing for 5 years reappears for trial in China

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