Former senior Chinese city official jailed for life for graft

October 11, 2016 9:39 PM EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A court has jailed for life the former top official in a major Chinese city after convicting him of corruption, state media said on Wednesday, the latest person caught in the government's sweeping campaign against graft.

Shen Weichen had been Communist Party chief in Taiyuan, provincial capital of the northern province of Shanxi. He was put under investigation in 2014.

Coal-rich Shanxi has been one of the epicenters of President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption fight.

The court in the eastern province of Jiangsu found Shen guilty of taking bribes worth almost 100 million yuan ($15 million), the official China Daily said.

Shen abused his power to "gain benefits for others, including in business dealings and job promotions", the paper said, citing the judgment.

Shen received life in jail rather than a death sentence because he confessed his crimes and expressed regret, the report added.

It was not possible to reach relatives or legal representatives of Shen for comment.

Shanxi's provincial party boss said in June that parts of the province had been "disaster areas" when it came to corruption, but things were getting better.

Shanxi, as one of China's top coal producing provinces, has seen its economy boom on the back of soaring energy demand over the past decade, one of the reasons state media has given for its corruption problem.

($1 = 6.6685 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)



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