BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- A former lawmaker was sentenced to five years in prison by a local court in Beijing Friday after he was found guilty of negligently causing a serious incident for having excavated a basement that caved in and caused the road and surrounding buildings to collapse.
In a ruling handed out by Xicheng District People's Court in Beijing in a first-instant trial, the court said Li Baojun, a former lawmaker from east China's Jiangsu Province, was liable for the incident.
The court heard that in 2014, Li hired an unlicensed contractor to dig an 18-meter-deep basement in his courtyard in Xicheng District without getting prior permission.
When the structure supporting his basement collapsed on Jan. 24, 2015, the road and houses nearby were damaged, causing direct economic losses of more than 5.83 million yuan (about 900,000 U.S. dollars), according to prosecutors.
The case also highlighted the practice of illegal construction across the national capital city. Li was arrested on Feb. 10, 2015.
Also convicted in Friday's court trial were Lu Zufu, director of the construction company, who was sentenced to three and half years in prison, and another defendant Li Hailun, who was given a sentence of three-year suspended imprisonment. Neither held residential construction permits.