Ex-aide sentenced to death
A court has handed down the capital sentence to a former aide to late vice premier Huang Ju (黃菊) for taking bribes and abuse of power, a Web site operated by the People’s Daily reported yesterday. Wang Weigong (王維工), who formerly served as secretary to Huang, was sentenced by the Changchun Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in Jilin Province on Friday, the report said. The court said Wang’s death sentence should be accompanied by probation of two years because he confessed to some of his crimes and paid back all the bribes. All his personal property was also confiscated. Wang, who was also a former deputy general manager of Shenergy Group, was convicted of taking bribes worth 12.9 million yuan (US$1.9 million) from eight companies or individuals from 1995-2006. Officials said he abused his power as a secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Communist Party Committee, and as secretary of the State Council, taking bribes in return for preferential treatment.
Alligator numbers rising
China’s endangered Yangtze alligator population is expected to more than double to 300 in the wild within five to 10 years, state media reported yesterday. Currently there are more than 120 alligators breeding in a wider area than five years ago, an official at the Chinese Alligators Protection Nature Reserve in eastern Anhui Province told Xinhua news agency. “We have for the first time found wild baby alligators. Normally their survival rate is only 2 percent,” the official was quoted as saying. Measures such as the protection of baby alligators and the releasing of captive-bred alligators into to the wild were helping bring the species back from the brink of extinction, the report said.
Prosecutors arrest Roh aide
Prosecutors arrested a close aide to former President Roh Moo-hyun for alleged corruption yesterday, ahead of plans to question the former head of state himself, a news report said. Jung Sang-moon, a former general secretary for Roh, was arrested shortly after midnight on graft charges, Seoul’s Yonhap news agency said, citing the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. Jung was suspected of taking millions of dollars from a corrupt shoe manufacturer, who has already been arrested, and other local businessmen for Roh’s family, prosecutors said. Roh served as president from 2003 to last year. Prosecutors plan to fix a date for summoning him for questioning this week, Yonhap said.
Monk enjoys the high life
The country’s top Buddhist monk has lived a lavish lifestyle with name branded goods and nine gold credit cards, a report in the Sunday Times said. “We are living in a modern world,” the newspaper quoted monk Ming Yi as telling auditors and police during an investigation into a charity hospital that he had headed. The report said Ming Yi was a high-end shopper who spent on brands like Louis Vuitton and Montblanc and had given three supplementary credit cards to his friends including a monk based in Hong Kong. The 47-year old former chief executive officer of a charity-run hospital is under investigation for making an unauthorized loan of S$50,000 (US$33,000) to a friend. “I always don’t look upon money as important,” Ming Yi said. “What I can, I spend and that’s it; what I don’t have, I don’t spend.”
Missile may enter territory