Wednesday, 12 June 2013

More Guilty than Charged

Former rail boss Liu Zhijun at his corruption trial in Beijing on Sunday
Former disgraced Chinese railways minister Liu Zhijun is now awaiting his fate after his trial was over. He could pretty much get the death penalty for amassing so much wealth during his tenure of the railway system -- way more than what he was accused of.

During the trial it was revealed investigations recovered almost 350 flats and more than 900 million yuan. The amount is much more than the amount of bribes Liu is accused of taking.

At Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court on Sunday, Liu was accused of using his influence to help his business associates win contracts and promotions, and accepting 64.6 million yuan in bribes between 1986 and 2011. That averages out to 2.58 million yuan per year. Hardly shabby.

But then the Beijing Times said the authorities had managed to confiscate large amounts of cash in various currencies. There was 795.5 million yuan, HK$85 million, $235,000 and 2.2 million euros. What can we say? Liu likes to play the global currency market.

There were also other valuables, flats, vehicles and shares recovered, but the Beijing Times report didn't explain why these weren't included in the charges against Liu.

So if he accumulated some 900 million yuan, that works out to about 36 million yuan per year for the 25 years he was in this position.

From 2.58 million yuan to 36 million yuan. Quite a difference. It seems his defense lawyers may have made up the smaller number in the hopes of making Liu look less corrupt.

Meanwhile a microblog post on the mainland is calling for officials to publicly declare all their assets or retire, while another online post has congratulated Liu for being the first high-ranking official to publicly declare his assets.

We wonder who will be next...

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