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Ex-Chinese public security official on trial for bribery

October 14, 2015

BEIJING (AP) — A former vice minister of public security went on trial in northern China on Wednesday for alleged bribery, the latest senior figure linked to the country’s former security czar to be prosecuted in an anti-corruption campaign.

The crackdown spearheaded by President Xi Jinping has targeted scores of high-level officials at the provincial and national levels, in the military and state-owned enterprises. The highest-ranking person to fall is former state security chief Zhou Yongkang, who was once seen as a potent rival of Xi and was at the center of a vast patronage system from his various positions of power, including as an executive in the state-owned oil industry.

Prosecutors in Tianjin city accused Li Dongsheng of taking advantage of several government posts he held between 1996 and 2013 to seek profits through bidding processes and job transfers, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Despite having no experience in law enforcement, he was elevated to vice public security minister in 2009, sparking rumors he was assisted by Zhou, who was sentenced to life in prison in June for corruption and other crimes.

Li previously had a number of other jobs, including vice director of the office responsible for cracking down on the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement, which has been forced deep underground in China following more than a decade of brutal suppression. He was also deputy head of state broadcaster China Central Television.

Li received directly or via relatives 22 million yuan ($3.5 million) in assets and bribes between 2007 and 2013, Xinhua said, citing prosecutors. The verdict will be announced at a later date.

Two other associates of Zhou were sentenced to prison for corruption earlier this week. Wang Yongchun, former deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corp., was given 20 years’ imprisonment and the company’s former chairman, Jiang Jiemin, 16 years.

Xi has made a priority of tackling corruption that Communist Party leaders say is threatening the party’s legitimacy. Critics say the crackdown also has targeted some of Xi’s political rivals.

Update hourly