2008-01-13 22:18:11 Xinhua English
HEFEI, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Yu Zhifei, former boss of the Shanghai Formula One racing circuit and the man who introduced the sport to China in 2004, is appealing his four-year jail sentence for graft, his lawyer said Monday.
The appeal was lodged ten days after the first instance verdict was announced by the Intermediate People's Court in Wuhu, a city in east China's Anhui Province.
Yu believed some details outlined by the prosecution concerning his alleged illegal transfer of 1.05 million yuan (nearly 144,000U.S. dollars) in corporate funds from Shanghai Shenhua Football Club in 1997, when he was chairman of the board, were "incorrect", Yu's lawyer Zhang Tiefeng told Xinhua.
The money was used to pay for his 2.43-million yuan house, but Zhang argued that the house should be Yu's "welfare from Shenhua Football Club".
"Yu was not in good health - he had problems with his legs," said Zhang.
The court found Yu, 54, guilty of illegally transferring 800,000 yuan from the club in 1997 to a Shanghai real estate developer to pay for his housing debt. The amount of money was embezzled in the name of "consultation service fees".
In 1999, Yu misappropriated another 250,000 yuan from a Shenhua-funded international trade company to pay for the remaining debt, but forged an excuse that the money was spent on "public welfare advertisements" during that year's Shanghai chrysanthemum exhibition, the verdict said.
Yu was detained in January last year and his arrest was approved by the Anhui Provincial People's Procuratorate in February. He was expelled from the Communist Party of China in May.