Ling Jihua gets life sentence for bribery

2016-07-04 23:35:26 GMT2016-07-05 07:35:26(Beijing Time) Global Times
Graphics: GT Graphics: GT

Senior official takes $11.6m in bribes, illegally acquires State secrets

Ling Jihua, former deputy head of China's national political advisory body, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday for taking bribes, illegally obtaining State secrets and of abuse of power.

Ling accepted bribes totaling 77.08 million yuan ($11.6 million) personally and through his family, according to the first-instance ruling by the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin.

He pled guilty and decided not to appeal, the court said.

Ling served as the vice chairman of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, before an announcement at the end of 2014 declared that he was under investigation.

Ling said in court that the trial was "solemn, meticulous, rational and civilized," embodying a combination of the rule of law and humanitarian treatment.

The court ruled that Ling took a particularly huge amount of bribes, committed a serious crime in illegally obtaining a large number of State secrets, and committed a particularly serious crime in the abuse of power, which had an especially bad impact on society.

During the trial on June 7, the court summoned businessmen Lou Zhongfu and Cui Xiaoyu, who testified that they asked Ling to help them seek benefits and offered bribes to Ling or his wife, Gu Liping.

The evidence showed that Ling, taking advantage of his positions, had sought or promised to seek profits or promotion opportunities for people including Lou and his son. He had extorted or accepted bribes personally or through his wife, or knowingly allowed his wife and his son, Ling Gu, to accept or extort bribes from those people. Gu has been taken away for investigation, and their son, Ling Gu, died in a car crash in Beijing in 2012.

While serving as head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee and deputy head of the CPPCC, Ling illegally obtained a large amount of classified materials through Huo Ke, the then head of the secretariat of the CPC Central Committee's General Office, and others, which seriously compromised the country's secrecy system.

Ling also abused his power to assist two persons named in court only as Chen and Zhang, as well as their relatives, with job transfers, house purchases, promotions, and changes to residential status, resulting in substantial losses in terms of public property and national interests.

Witness statements, house purchase agreements and other documents were presented as evidence, along with Ling's statement. The court carried out a closed trial as State secrets were involved.

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