Most-wanted fugi­tive stands trial

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s most-wanted graft fugi­tive, Yang Xi­uzhu, who had been on the run for 13 years, stood trial on Fri­day at a court in Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

Yang, 70, a for­mer deputy di­rec­tor of the con­struc­tion depart­ment of Zhe­jiang prov­ince, was ac­cused of hav­ing em­bez­zled more than 19 mil­lion yuan ($2.8 mil­lion) of pub­lic funds and taken bribes of around 7.35 mil­lion yuan.

The Hangzhou In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court in the prov­ince held an open trial and is­sued a state­ment say­ing Yang con­fessed to com­mit­ting the crimes.

Yang was also head of the pro­vin­cial of­fice of ur­ban­iza­tion be­fore she fled China in April 2003. She had also been vice-mayor of Wen­zhou, Zhe­jiang, from 1995 to 1998.

Ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors, Yang mis­used her po­si­tions from 1996 to 1997 as the vice­mayor of Wen­zhou and the chair­man of the board at a rail­way real es­tate com­pany in the city to com­mit em­bez­zle­ment.

She was also ac­cused of abus­ing her power from 1994 to 1998 as the as­sis­tant to the mayor of Wen­zhou and vice­mayor of the city, tak­ing bribes from land de­vel­op­ers as well as pro­mot­ing oth­ers.

The ver­dict will be an­nounced at an­other date.

Yang topped the list of 100 Chi­nese fugi­tives sus­pected of mil­lion yuan eco­nomic crimes and was sub­ject to an In­ter­pol red no­tice.

She fled to t he United States when ev­i­dence of cor­rupt con­duct was un­cov­ered af­ter her brother Yang Guan­grong was ar­rested by the procu­ra­torate in Zhe­jiang in March 2003 on charges of ac­cept­ing bribes from lo­cal real es­tate de­vel­op­ers.

Yang had been hid­ing in sev­eral places, in­clud­ing the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, Sin­ga­pore, France, the Nether­lands and Italy.

She had ap­plied for asy­lum in France and the Nether­lands, but was re­jected be­fore flee­ing to the United States to seek asy­lum in May 2014.

Yang re­turned to China in Novem­ber 2016 and turned her­self in to au­thor­i­ties.

Around 50 peo­ple from all sec­tors of so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing me­dia, deputies to the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress and po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers for Hangzhou Com­mit­tee of Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence were present at the trial.

Amount of pub­lic funds em­bez­zled by Yang Xi­uzhu, China’s most-wanted graft fugi­tive, who has been on the run for 13 years

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Yang Xi­uzhu, for­mer deputy di­rec­tor of Zhe­jiang prov­ince’s con­struc­tion depart­ment, stands trial on graft charges at the Hangzhou In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court in Zhe­jiang on Fri­day.

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