News Column

China's Former Railways Minister on Trial for Corruption

June C9, 2013

China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun stood trial for corruption Sunday, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

Liu, 60, was charged in April with bribery and abuse of power.

He is alleged to have accepted 65 million yuan (10.5 million dollars) in bribes and to have helped 11 people win contracts or promotions.

Xinhua quoted the indictment as saying, "Liu's malpractice led to huge losses of public assets and damage to the interests of the state and people," with the incidents taking place between 1986 and 2011.

Liu, who was appointed railways minister in 2003, was sacked in February 2011 over suspicions of "serious disciplinary violations."

He could face the death penalty or life imprisonment if convicted.

No date has been announced for the verdict. The case is the first of such a high-profile nature since the appointment of President Xi Jinping, who has pledged to crack down on corruption.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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