China's 'Brother Watch' gets 14-year prison term
BEIJING (AP) - A Chinese provincial official whose grinning at the scene of a deadly bus crash sparked an outcry and, eventually, led to corruption charges was sentenced on Thursday to 14 years in prison.
Yang Dacai was head of the Shanxi province work safety administration when photographs of him smiling at the crash scene circulated online. Outraged citizens condemned his apparent callousness and, noting the luxury wristwatch he wore in the picture, dug up more photos of him wearing pricey timepieces.
They nicknamed him "Brother Watch" and demanded to know how he could afford the items on a public servant's modest salary. Communist Party officials later opened an investigation and stripped him of his official duties for "serious wrongdoing."
Yang pleaded guilty last month to charges of taking 250,000 yuan (S$52,000) in bribes and having bank deposits of 5.04 million yuan from dubious sources. He was sentenced by the Intermediate People's Court in the Shanxi capital of Xi'an, according to a court official speaking on routine condition of anonymity.