China charges former senior military officer with graft: Xinhua

BEIJING Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:57am EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China has charged former senior army officer Gu Junshan with corruption, state news agency Xinhua said on Monday, in what is likely to be the country's worst military scandal since a vice admiral was jailed for life for embezzlement in 2006.

In a renewed campaign on graft, Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to go after both powerful "tigers" and lowly "flies", warning that the issue is so severe it threatens the ruling Communist Party's survival.

Gu has been charged with corruption, taking bribes, misuse of public funds and abuse of power, Xinhua said on one of its official microblogs. He will be tried by a military court, it added.

Three sources with ties to the leadership or military, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Gu also sold military positions.

Gu has been under investigation for corruption since he was sacked as deputy director of the logistics department of the People's Liberation Army in 2012, sources have said.

Sources told Reuters this month that Xu Caihou, 70, who retired as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission last year and from the Communist Party's decision-making politburo in 2012, was under virtual house arrest while helping in the probe into Gu.

As one of Gu's main supporters in his rise through the ranks, Xu is being implicated in ignoring, or at least failing to report, Gu's alleged misdeeds.

Reuters has not been able to reach either Xu or Gu for comment. It is not clear if they have lawyers.

In January, the respected Chinese magazine Caixin said investigators had seized objects, including a solid gold statue of Mao Zedong, from Gu's mansion in the central province of Henan.

He also secured professional favors for members of his family, including his brother Gu Xianjun, who was arrested last August for bribery, the magazine said.

In addition, Gu hired authors to concoct heroic tales about his father's revolutionary deeds in a bid to bolster his image in the eyes of China's red aristocracy - the sons and daughters of Mao-era heroes, Caixin said.

China stepped up a crackdown on rampant corruption in the military in the late 1990s, banning the PLA from engaging in business. But it has engaged in commercial dealings in recent years due to a lack of checks and balances on the military, sources say.

In 2006, disgraced vice admiral and deputy navy commander Wang Shouye was jailed for life for embezzling 160 million yuan ($25.82 million) in China's biggest military corruption scandal in almost six decades, state media said at the time.

The party has struggled to contain public anger at a seemingly endless stream of corruption scandals, particularly when officials are seen as abusing their posts to amass wealth.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Benjamin Kang Lim and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Comments (1)
aunticcp wrote:
The entire gangster regime known as the Chinese Communist Party has and is still running entirely on corruption and bribery. What the new leader Xi is doing is simply replacing the old gangsters with his henchmen. The brutal Chinese Communist Party has murdered over fifty million of its own people since 1949, since 1999 it has been attempting the blood-thirsty genocide of the tens of millions of innocent Falun Gong who live in Mainland China. To this end, the heinous CCP is using torture,slavery, organ harvesting and murder. Because of corporate greed, these atrocities and millions of others have been kept from the Western people by the Western media. The weak United Nations even appointed the brutal CCP a seat on its Human Rights Council this year. Shameful. Thank you for your concern.

Mar 31, 2014 9:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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