'Brother Watch' gets 14 years in jail
Updated: 2013-09-06 07:02
By Ma Lie in Xi'an (China Daily)
A former Shaanxi province official who outraged the nation when he was photographed smiling at the scene of a fatal road accident last year was sentenced on Thursday to 14 years in prison on corruption charges.
Yang Dacai, the former head of the Shaanxi work safety administration, was found guilty in Xi'an Intermediate People's Court of taking bribes and holding a large amount of property that he cannot account for.
He was photographed smiling at the spot of a serious traffic accident on Aug 26, 2012, in which 36 people were killed and four were injured, on a highway in Ansai in northern Shaanxi. The photo sparked widespread anger online.
Photographs of Yang later appeared online showing him wearing various luxury wristwatches at numerous occasions, earning him the nickname "Brother Watch".
The online anti-graft crusade soon led to an official inquiry.
The court announced the verdict on Thursday and confiscated personal property valued at 50,000 yuan ($8,170) from Yang, 56.
An estimated 5.29 million yuan Yang received in bribes and from unidentified sources was also confiscated and handed over to the exchequer.
Yang said nothing after hearing the judgment. He has the right to appeal within 15 days.
At Yang's trial on Aug 30, prosecutors said the total property owned by his family was valued at 11.77 million yuan, of which 5.04 million yuan was from unidentified sources and 250,000 yuan was from bribes.
Yang said at the trial that the 5.04 million yuan consisted of gifts from his subordinates and schoolmates during holidays.
Xinhua contributed to this story.
Yang Dacai, former head of Shaanxi provincial work safety administration, awaits sentencing at Xi'an Intermediate People's Court on Thursday. Zhai Xiaoxue / for China Daily
(China Daily USA 09/06/2013 page4)