April 23, 2010

China building collapse yields life terms

Two men were sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the collapse of a building in Shanghai last year, Chinese state media reported.

A Shanghai court sentenced Que Jingde and Zhang Zhiqin, the two largest shareholders of the real estate firm Shanghai Meidu Real Estate on Wednesday, according to China Daily.

Que was convicted on one charge of graft, while Zhang was found guilty on counts of graft, embezzlement of corporate funds and causing a serious accident, the paper said. The court also ordered the confiscation of their personal assets -- Zhang's is worth 5 million yuan (US $732,000) and Que's is 2 million yuan (US $293,000), China Daily reported.

The nearly complete 13-story building fell on its side almost intact last June, killing a worker.

Investigations found that the structure's foundation was weakened by the piling of excavated soil on one side and the digging of an underground garage by an unqualified contractor, China Daily reported. Source:CNN


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