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Chinese Supreme court spares one of country's richest women death penalty

Beijing, Sat, 21 Apr 2012 ANI

Beijing, Apr 21 (ANI): A Chinese highest order court spared the life of a 30 yr-old millionaire, who was once tagged as one of China's richest women, which resulted in the outpouring of online protests but also drew sympathy from Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao.

Wu Ying, who converted her single nail salon into a regional conglomerate, was sentenced to death in 2009 after being convicted of cheating 11 investors out of 380 million yuan (60.3 million dollars).

But China's Supreme People's Court declined to approve the sentence and referred the case back to the high court in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In a statement released, it said, "The Supreme People's Court feels that the amount of funds involved in the case is huge, and a great deal of damage was caused to victims, and at the same time seriously affected the government's financial management, on an overall assessment of the case, the death sentence may be stayed."

"This is what we've been hoping for," Zhang Yanfeng, Wu's attorney, was quoted as saying.

The case drew attention to holes in the Chinese financial system, where smaller businesses often struggle for funding even as giant state-owned enterprises enjoyed cheap credit from biggest banks in China.

Wen said her case "reflects how the development of informal finance has still not adapted to the development of our economy and society" and called for breaking the "monopoly" of the state-controlled bank's hold on lending and taken other steps towards improving the Chinese financial system.

Wu, the daughter of a farmer, got her start as the owner of a single nail salon. She turned it into a conglomerate called Bense Holding Group, and started her entrepreneurship, which was based in Zhejiang, in China.

She was ranked the 68th wealthiest person in the country, having 3.6 billion yuan (571.4 million dollars), in the year 2006 by the Hurun Report, which tracks China's richest people. (ANI)

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