China to prosecute former senior official for graft

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 02, 2017 6:06 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities will prosecute a former top official from a high profile but largely ceremonial body after an investigation found he engaged in corrupt practices and "inappropriately" spoke about Communist Party policies, the party said on Friday.

Sun Huaishan had been a top member of an advisory body to the mostly rubber stamp parliament, and head of its Committee for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Compatriots and Overseas Chinese. He was put under investigation in March.

The party's graft-busting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Sun "seriously contravened political discipline and rules, spoke inappropriately about key party policies, formed cliques and obstructed the investigation into him".

Sun attended banquets paid for with public funds and asked other organizations to provide holidays for relatives with public money, the commission said in a short statement.

He also accepted money and gifts and abused his power and influence to help his son's business operations, it added.

Sun has been expelled from the party and his case will be handed over to judicial authorities, the commission said, meaning he will be prosecuted.

It was not possible to reach Sun for comment and unclear if he has been allowed to retain a lawyer.

As the party controls the legal system the courts will not challenge its charges against Sun, so he will almost certainly be found guilty.

President Xi Jinping has warned that rampant corruption threatens the survival of the party.

His anti-corruption campaign has brought down scores of top officials in the party, the government, the military and state-owned companies.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)