Ex-deputy governors, energy exec charged

Updated: 2015-10-14 06:53

By Cao Yin(China Daily)

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A former senior official allied with disgraced security chief Zhou Yongkang stood trial on Tuesday in Tianjin for alleged corruption, one day after two other Zhou associates were found guilty of graft.

Ji Wenlin, the former deputy governor of Hainan province, was charged with taking bribes directly or making use of his former work post to benefit others, according to prosecutors.

Tianjin's No 1 People's Procuratorate accused Ji of "offering help" to multiple companies and individuals in securing State funds and applying for preferential policies from late 2000 to January 2013, when he worked for a series of government bodies, including governments in Sichuan province, in Haikou, Hainan province, and at the Ministry of Public Security.

Prosecutors said that Ji, who was placed under investigation in early 2014, accepted or asked others to give more than 20.46 million yuan ($3.22 million) in bribes between 2002 and 2013.

The Tianjin No 1 Intermediate People's Court heard the case publicly. Prosecutors and Ji's lawyers presented evidence and opinions. The judgment will be announced at a later date, the court said.

Ji was an ally of Zhou, 72, one of the highest ranking Chinese politicians to be sacked in the ongoing anti-corruption campaign. Zhou was sentenced in June to life imprisonment for bribery, abuse of power and leaking State secrets.

On Monday, two former ministerial-level officials were found guilty of graft. They said they would not appeal.

One was Jiang Jiemin, 60, who had led China National Petroleum Corp, the biggest petroleum company in the country. Jiang was sentenced to 16 years in prison for accepting bribes, holding a large amount of property and abusing power.

The other was Li Chuncheng, 59, former deputy Party chief of Sichuan province, who received a 13-year jail sentence for corruption.

On Tuesday, Wang Yongchun, former deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corp, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for corruption and confiscation of 2 million yuan ($315,400) of his personal property by a court in Hubei province.

Also on Tuesday, Guo Yongxiang, former deputy governor of Sichuan province, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for taking bribes of more than 43 million yuan.

Jiang, Li, Wang and Guo were associates of Zhou, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Zhu Lijia, a professor who specializes in anti-corruption issues at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the pace of investigations and trials in graft cases had been accelerated, "which reflects our government's firm attitude against the corruption".

"A number of officials have been under investigation over the past two years. Trials and sentences for them will be made one after another in line with laws. But courts, I think, will try to hear those cases as quickly as they can," Zhu said.