HONG KONG—A Beijing courtroom sentenced an influential businessman identified for his outspoken criticism of China’s chief, Xi Jinping, to 18 years in prison, meting out severe punishment in a corruption scenario that is likely to chill dissent inside of the Chinese political elite.
Ren Zhiqiang, sixty nine years old, was sentenced Tuesday after staying convicted of corruption, getting bribes, embezzlement and abuse of electricity, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court claimed in an online detect. Mr. Ren, a well-linked member of Beijing’s political and organization circles, was also fined the equal of about $619,000.
The verdict arrived two months after the Communist Celebration expelled Mr. Ren above allegations of political disloyalty and corruption, and marked the fruits of a monthslong investigation versus the retired true estate mogul. Buddies say he experienced disappeared in mid-March soon after producing an essay excoriating Mr. Xi for his dealing with of the coronavirus