A Beijing court yesterday sentenced former national deputy Customs director Wang Leyi to 13 years in prison for accepting bribes worth 560,000 yuan (HK$528,500). The long-awaited ruling has raised expectations that Beijing will soon sentence a number of prominent officials implicated in corruption scandals before the opening of the 16th party congress in November. Wang was found guilty of receiving cash and gifts between 1993 and 1998, when he was the Customs chief of Dalian city and deputy national Customs chief, Xinhua said. In return, he helped companies in Liaoning, Harbin and Shenzhen to gain tax exemptions or helped protect them in smuggling investigations. The trial of Zhu Xiaohua, the former chairman of China Everbright Group, opened last month, almost three years after his detention. Wang Xuebing, former president of the Bank of China, was sacked in January and is under investigation.