Sat, Dec 01, 2018 - Page 4 News List

China says graft suspect extradited from EU member state for first time

Reuters, BEIJING

China has extradited a corruption suspect for the first time from an EU member state, the nation’s top graft buster said yesterday, getting back from Bulgaria a former local official wanted for taking bribes.

A key plank of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) sweeping anti-corruption campaign has been the drive to repatriate overseas fugitives suspected of corruption and economic crimes through widely publicized operations dubbed “Fox Hunt” and “Sky Net.”

However, China has had limited success in securing cooperation from Western countries, including the US, Canada and Australia, where many of its most-wanted suspects reside, largely because of what those governments see as a lack of transparency and due process in China’s judicial system.

In a brief statement, the Chinese National Supervision Commission said that with Bulgaria’s help, Yao Jinqi (姚錦旗) had been extradited back to China.

“This is the first time we have successfully extradited a bureaucrat suspected of work-related crimes from an EU member state,” it said.

Yao was a county-level official in Zhejiang Province and fled the country in December 2005 after being investigated for taking bribes, the commission said.

Yao, who was the target of an Interpol red notice, was detained by Bulgarian police on Oct. 17 and a Sofia court later approved his extradition to China, it added.

It was not possible to ascertain if Yao has been given legal representation in China or to contact any family members for comment.

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