Zhang Enzhao, the former president of China Construction Bank, did not appeal the sentence handed down by a Beijing court two weeks ago and is now facing 15 years in prison for bribery, according to official state media reports. Zhang, 60, admitted taking 19 bribes totalling 4.18 million yuan during his tenure at CCB between 2001 and 2004, and was sentenced to 15 years, according to a Beijing Number One Intermediate Court verdict issued on November 3. He failed to appeal the verdict within the 10 days allowed by the court and he will begin serving his time immediately in Qincheng prison on the outskirts of Beijing, a penitentiary for political prisoners that housed the 'Gang of Four' after they were jailed for their roles in the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Neither the court nor Zhang's lawyer, Gao Zicheng, would comment yesterday, although Mr Gao told the South China Morning Post in an earlier interview that he thought the sentence was too harsh. 'The sentence is the result of Zhang Enzhao's personal actions and I don't think it will affect Construction Bank's brand, competitive power or morale at the bank,' Zhang's successor as president of the bank, Zhang Jianguo, said yesterday in Beijing. The men are not related despite sharing the same surname. Mr Zhang said rules had been changed and there were now strict procedures for management. 'Zhang Enzhao used to like the branch managers to welcome him at the airport or train station but now [that] is strictly forbidden for all senior managers,' he said. Court documents revealed that one of the three major sources of bribes in Zhang's case were US banking software supplier Fidelity Information Services and one of its employees, Zou Jianhua. A mainland agent for Fidelity, Grace & Digital Information Technology, sued the software supplier in a California court for breach of contract and bribing officials at Bank of China and Construction Bank, including Zhang, to secure lucrative software contracts. After that case was dismissed last year, Grace brought another case in a Florida court alleging similar charges. Also mentioned in the Beijing court verdict as having paid cash bribes to Zhang were Yang Zhenhuan of Shanhaiyuan Investment Management and Tan Hui, a well-known nightclub owner. The court confiscated 100,000 yuan, HK$250,000, US$139,000, two Tiffany watches, a massage chair and an apartment in Shanghai's Xuhui district from Zhang.