GUANGZHOU, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Courts in south China's Guangdong Province Monday sentenced 20 people, including former government officials, to terms ranging from death to eight years in prison for their role in abuse of the homeless in a care center.
Supervisory authorities in Guangdong also announced disciplinary punishments to 107 civil servants for their misfeasance in the case that led to a number of deaths at the facility for the homeless, elderly and mentally ill in Xinfeng County.
Cases against the 20 suspects were heard at the courts in Shaoguan City, Lechang City and Renhua County.
Li Cuiqiong, former head of the civil affairs department of Xinfeng County, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. Pan Zhong'ai, another official of the department, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The court said the two officials used their power to set up and illegally operate the care center.
Lai Zhanfeng, the former deputy county chief of Xinfeng, was sentenced to eight years in jail for failing to properly perform his supervisory duty and taking bribes.
Liu Hong, vice secretary-general of the Guangdong provincial government, was removed from his post. Chen Jinghui, the former Communist Party chief of Xinfeng, was expelled from the Party and public office.