For­mer Nan­jing mayor given 15 years for graft

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The for­mer mayor of the Chi­nese city of Nan­jing was sen­tenced Tues­day to 15 years in jail for cor­rup­tion, in the lat­est high-pro­file case un­der Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s much-touted anti-graft drive.

Ji Jianye was found guilty of tak­ing 11.3 mil­lion yuan ( US$1.9 mil­lion) in bribes from 1999 to 2012, the Yan­tai In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court said on its Sina Weibo mi­croblog.

Au­thor­i­ties have also con­fis­cated prop­erty worth two mil­lion yuan (US$325,000) from the for­mer mayor, who was nick­named “Bull­dozer Ji” for his re­lent­less pro­mo­tion of con­struc­tion projects in his city.

“The court was le­nient in met­ing out pun­ish­ment, as Ji ad­mit­ted his guilt and showed re­pen­tance,” the court said in a state­ment posted on its mi­croblog.

Pho­tos posted by the court showed a re­morse­ful-look­ing Ji, clad in a dark jacket and trousers, flanked by a tall po­lice of­fi­cer on ei­ther side.

The court is in the eastern prov- ince of Shan­dong, while Nan­jing is the cap­i­tal of neigh­bor­ing Jiangsu.

China typ­i­cally holds cor­rup­tion tri­als out­side the area where al­leged crimes took place, to sep­a­rate ac­cused of­fi­cials from their lo­cal power bases.

Ji spent his en­tire po­lit­i­cal ca­reer in Jiangsu, head­ing the cities of Kun­shan and Yangzhou be­fore tak­ing the Nan­jing post in 2010.

He was ex­pelled from the Com­mu­nist Party in Jan­uary last year, when au­thor­i­ties claimed he had “re­ceived a huge amount of money and gifts ei­ther by him­self or through his fam­ily mem­bers.”

State me­dia linked his down­fall to con­struc­tion project awards to a com­pany with which he had close ties.

Ji’s trial un­der­scores the vast amounts of ill- got­ten wealth amassed by some Chi­nese of­fi­cials, although his case is far from the most sen­sa­tional to come to light un­der Xi’s anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign.

In Fe­bru­ary, Ni Fake, a for­mer deputy gover­nor of the eastern prov­ince of An­hui, was sen­tenced to 17 years in jail for tak­ing around 13 mil­lion yuan ( US$2.1 mil­lion) in bribes in cash, ar­ti­facts and pre­cious stones.

The rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party’s top anti-graft body said Ni was “ob­sessed with col­lect­ing jade” and had ap­pointed him­self hon­orary chair­man of the pro­vin­cial jew­elry in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to an ear­lier re­port by the state-run Shang­hai Daily news­pa­per.

Xi’s anti-graft cam­paign has en­snared a num­ber of se­nior fig­ures in­clud­ing Zhou Yongkang, a for­mer mem­ber of China’s allpow­er­ful Polit­buro Stand­ing Com­mit­tee who was charged last week with bribery, abuse of power and dis­clos­ing state se­crets.

But crit­ics say the Com­mu­nist Party has re­sisted in­tro­duc­ing sys­temic re­forms seen as key mea­sures against graft, such as pub­lish­ing of­fi­cials’ as­sets, re­lax­ing con­trols on me­dia and es­tab­lish­ing an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary, leav­ing the drive open to mis­use in fac­tion-fight­ing.

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