June 3, 2016 / 9:54 AM / 3 years ago

China prosecutor says to move forward with high-profile graft cases

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will launch court action against a former deputy sports minister and a former city police chief, among others, for corruption, the top prosecutor’s office said on Friday, the latest step in a blistering anti-graft campaign.

Xiao Tian, deputy director of General Administration of Sports of China, attends a news conference in Shanyang, Liaoning province, China, August 30, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

President Xi Jinping has made rooting out corruption a cornerstone of his administration, and the ruling Communist Party’s anti-graft body has felled dozens of officials, including many of Xi’s top political opponents.

In a statement, China’s top prosecutor listed at least six individuals and the charges they face, but gave no further details.

Xiao Tian, formerly the deputy head of the General Administration of Sport, who sat on China’s Olympics committee, was among those whose cases had moved forward, the office said in a statement.

Last year, an investigation found that Xiao, whose position was equivalent to vice minister, abused his position and took bribes.

Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics last July.

In its fight on graft, China has also sought to eject corrupt elements from its sports establishment, particularly within soccer, which has been hit by match-fixing scandals.

Also to be prosecuted is Wu Changshun, once the public security boss in the northern city of Tianjin, becoming its third police chief to be investigated in eight years, state media reported.

Wu is suspected of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, the official said in his statement.

Other former party officials from the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Yunnan will also be prosecuted, the report added.

Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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