Ling Jihua, former aide to retired president Hu Jintao, to face trial on corruption charges | News | DW | 21.07.2015
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Ling Jihua, former aide to retired president Hu Jintao, to face trial on corruption charges

Ling Jihua has been expelled from China's Communist Party and will face trial on corruption charges. China's Politburo has accused Ling of bribery and trading "power for sex."

A former top aide to retired Chinese President Hu Jintao has been arrested and will be put on trial after an investigation revealed he took bribes and engaged in other forms of corruption, Chinese state media announced.

Ling Jihua, 58, has been handed over to judicial authorities and expelled from the Communist Party, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. Ling had been demoted from a ministerial-level job in September 2012 following a scandal that erupted after his son was killed after crashing his Ferrari in Beijing.

Despite a media blackout on reporting details of the crash, the incident proved a scandal because two young women - one nude and one only partially clothed - were injured in the crash. Many also questioned how Ling's son was able to afford the roughly $800,000 (737,000 euro) car. Ling was accused of covering up the scandal.

The Politburo, one of the communist party's ruling bodies, accused Ling of adultery, damaging the party's image and trading "power for sex."

"He or his family received and gave enormous bribes; he obtained a large number of the party's and state's core secrets, breaking discipline and the law," the government said in a statement according to Xinhua.

Ling and his wife are alleged to have received money and gifts from unnamed people.

"He took advantage of his posts to seek profit for others and accepted huge bribes personally and through his family," the report added.

Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to crack down on corruption

"Ling committed adultery with a number of women and traded his power for sex. He should bear major responsibility for his family members' acts of seeking profits with the influence of his position."

It is unclear if Ling has a lawyer. His trial could potentially be held in secret.

The case has proved politically sensitive due to Ling's close connection with former president Hu, Xi Jinping's predecessor. Government officials have denied Hu was being implicated in the Ling investigation.

President Xi has pursued an aggressive campaign against corruption since assuming power in 2012, pledging to go after powerful "tigers" and lowly "flies" alike.

Last month the government announced that 72-year-old former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang had been jailed for life following a closed-door trial for leaking state secrets, bribery and abuse of power.

bw/msh (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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