Ex-Chinese president’s aide charged with graft, stealing state secrets

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • Updated: May 13, 2016 19:39 IST
Ling Jihua, then vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at a meeting in Beijing on March 11, 2013. (Reuters File)

An aide to former Chinese president Hu Jintao has been charged with corruption and obtaining state secrets, and will face trial soon, state media reported on Friday.

Ling Jihua, the former vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top advisory body, and considered Hu’s right-hand man, was earlier expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) after the government levelled allegations of corruption against him.

The charges against him were formalised on Friday .

“Former deputy head of China's national political advisory body Ling Jihua has been charged with taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power by the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP),” official news agency Xinhua said in a brief report.

He will soon be produced at the No. 1 branch of Tianjin Municipal People's Procuratorate court.

Ling was placed under investigation by the CPC’s anti-graft watchdog on December 22, 2014 and was later removed from his position as head of the Party's United Front Work Department.

During the initial investigations, he was found to have “seriously violated” the CPC’s disciplines on political and confidentiality grounds, seeking benefits for others in his position, receiving bribes for himself and his relatives, illegally soliciting sex and seeking illegitimate gains for his relatives and friends by taking advantage of his position.

According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post , Ling’s brother Ling Wancheng is in the United States and Beijing has said talks were underway with Washington to repatriate the brother.

Ling Jihua’s son, Ling Gu, died in 2012 when his Ferrari crashed on a highway in Beijing.

The crash triggered a huge controversy and discussion here about the lifestyle of children of China’s powerful political elite. It also led to speculation that Ling had amassed wealth through corruption.

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