Wu Ying, China's Ex-Tycoon, Gets Suspended Death Sentence

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Wu Ying, China's self-made tycoon who was accused of defrauding investors, has received a reprieve on her death sentence. A Zhejiang court delivered the re-sentencing on Monday, effectively turning her death sentence into life imprisonment.

China's ex-tycoon Wu Ying has been given a suspended death sentence in a controversy-swirled case. The High People's Court in eastern China's Zhejiang Province upheld a death sentence given by a lower court in 2009, but gave Wu a two-year reprieve—that is effectively life-imprisonment.

Wu's case attracted widespread attention from Chinese netizens. She was given a death sentence for defrauding investors out of 60 million US Dollars. Many were outraged, saying the sentence was too harsh for her crimes.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also weighed in on the case last month, saying authorities were taking, (quote) "an extremely cautious attitude toward the Wu Ying case".

NTD Senior China Analyst Zhang Tianliang says Wen's words foreshadowed Wu's reprieve.

[Zhang Tianliang, NTD Senior China Analyst]:
"Wu Ying's case is about illegal fundraising, but there were actually a lot of unknown inside stories. Then, at the Two Sessions meeting, Wen Jiabao mentioned Wu Ying's case during his press conference, and said the case would be handled in accordance with the law. What he said effectively spared her the death sentence."
[.]

Wu's supporters have raised questions over the handling of her case. Including whether it was appropriate to have Zhejiang's provincial court handle the re-sentencing, especially given Wu had implicated local Communist officials of corruption in her case.

In addition to her suspended death sentence on Monday, Wu Ying has also been deprived of political rights for life. Her private property has also been confiscated, according to state-run People's Daily.

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