On Monday, former railway minister Liu Zhijun was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve by the Beijing No.2 Intermediate People’s Court, Xinhua reports.
Liu accepted 64.6 million yuan ($10.53 million) in bribes during the course of his career in the railway ministry. He also abused his position to help 11 people win promotions, project deals and cargo transportation contracts, according to Xinhua. Liu is also held responsible for the deadly Wenzhou high speed train crash.
Some believe that Liu got off lightly.
The Global Times reported that “the relatively lenient penalty wasn’t enough to quell public anger, with many Web users voicing their disappointment online.”
While Liu has been convicted, the BBC notes that suspended death sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment.
Chen Yongmiao, a political analyst and rights activist told the South China Morning Post:
Liu’s sentence showed the Communist Party still felt obliged to protect its “little brothers”, despite Xi’s promises to curb corruption.
“I expect Liu to be released after five or six years in jail,” he said. “As senior officials, they always have a way.”