China's "Smiling" Official Jailed 14 Years
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A local court in northwest China Thursday sentenced the work safety official who left the nation aghast when he was filmed "smiling" at the scene of a fatal road accident to 14 years in prison.
Yang Dacai, former head of Shaanxi work safety administration, was found guilty of taking bribes and holding a large amount of property which he could not account for, at Xi'an Intermediate People's Court.
The court ordered confiscation of the 250,000 yuan (40,500 US dollars) in bribes he took and over 5 million yuan of property he failed to account for. He was also fined 50,000 yuan.
Yang did not appeal against the first-instance verdict, Xinhua reported.
In a hearing on Friday, Yang was accused of taking the 250,000 yuan to help a technology appraisal company upgrade its security assessment credentials.
He possesses a family property worth 11.77 million yuan (1.9 million US dollars) and cannot identify where 5 million yuan came from.
The prosecution argued that Yang's family deposits are far more than his income as a public servant.
He pleaded guilty to the two charges Friday.
Yang's precipitous plunge from grace began when images of him grinning merrily at the scene of a traffic accident which left 36 people dead appeared online in August of last year. His expression was seen as inappropriate and unsympathetic.