Macau, China, 22 Apr – Macau’s Court of Final Appeal sentenced today former Macau secretary for transport and public works Ao Man Long to 28 and a half years in jail for bribe-taking and money laundering.
Ao, 52, was arrested in 2006 and sentenced to 27 years in January 2008 after being found guilty of taking huge bribes as he awarded public works contracts for a series of massive construction projects between 1999 until his arrest in December.
Ao was found guilty of 57 out of 76 charges including corruption, money-laundering, abuse of power and making false statements at the end of his original trial.
At the end of a second trial Wednesday, he was convicted of 23 additional counts or bribe-taking and five of money laundering in the biggest corruption case in modern Macau history.
Sentencing him in Macau’s Court of Final Appeal, judge Sam Hou Fai said Ao had abused his power as a government official and that his behaviour had seriously damaged the image of the territory.
He added that the “greedy” former secretary had “crazily and openly amassed wealth (…) and treated laws as nothing. The number of crimes and the time span over his crimes are unprecedented” judge Sam Hou Fai said.
“In the earlier case and this case, the sum of punishment for the defendant’s 81 counts of crimes is 368 years and nine months, which greatly exceeds… the legal maximum of 30 years,” judge Sam Hou Fai also said.
The second trial looked at land sales, private development projects and public works projects.
The court found that Ao had “used the administrative approval process as a tool for huge personal gains”.
The two sentences will be served concurrently because of limitations in the Macau Penal Code which mean Ao cannot serve more than 30 years in prison.
The former secretary for transport and public works built up a personal fortune of 100 million US dollars .
The Court of Final Appeal also confiscated his assets and ordered Ao to give the government back MOP 41 million (US$ 5.1 million) that he had obtained illegally.