Sat, Aug 22, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Brother of former senior official axed from CCP over graft

Reuters, BEIJING

The brother of a former top Chinese presidential aide has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and public office, the Chinese government said on Friday, paving the way for his prosecution for alleged violations, such as accepting bribes.

Ling Zhengce (令政策), the former deputy head of the parliamentary advisory body in China’s Shanxi Province, is the elder brother of Ling Jihua (令計畫), a one-time senior aide to former Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).

Ling Zhengce allegedly violated rules of self-discipline by accepting monetary gifts and exploiting his position, besides seeking benefits for relatives, China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said.

“In addition to this, Ling Zhengce’s behavior interfered with and hindered organizational investigation,” the anti-graft watchdog said on its Web site.

Authorities announced an investigation into Ling Zhengce in June last year.

The latest move to eject him from the CCP and strip him of his official post is a necessary procedural step in passing the case to judicial authorities for prosecution.

Ling Jihua was demoted in September 2012 after sources said his son was involved in a deadly crash involving a luxury sports car, an embarrassment for the party, which is sensitive to perceptions that children of top officials live rich, privileged lifestyles.

Authorities last month announced that he would face prosecution after an investigation revealed crimes that they alleged damaged the party’s image, such as receiving money and gifts from unnamed people, having affairs with numerous women and trading power for sex.

Party members can be punished for adultery as they are supposed to be upstanding members of society. The charge is frequently leveled at high-ranking graft suspects as a way of showing they are morally degenerate and deserve punishment.

Ling Jihua’s case has presented a dilemma for Beijing; his position is particularly sensitive because of his close connection with Hu.

Since assuming power in late 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平), who doubles as party and military chief, has pursued a relentless campaign against deep-rooted corruption, vowing to go after powerful “tigers” as well as lowly “flies.”

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