Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

China commutes businesswoman's sentence to life: Report

Published on Jul 11, 2014 1:28 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China on Friday commuted the fraud sentence of businesswoman Wu Ying - once listed among its richest women but later condemned to death - to life imprisonment, state media reported.

Wu, 33, a hairdresser who built a business empire from scratch, was initially sentenced to death in 2009 for swindling private investors out of about 380 million yuan (S$76 million). The penalty provoked a public outcry over concerns that the court dealt with her particularly harshly because she was a private entrepreneur, and worries that the government intended to curb business freedom.

China's Supreme Court overturned the sentence in 2012, before the high court of the eastern province of Zhejiang reduced it to death with a two-year reprieve later in the year.

Under Chinese laws, a suspended death sentence can be commuted to life imprisonment if the prisoner does not commit further crimes during the reprieve period, or 25 years in jail if the inmate performs a "significant deed of merit".

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!