China today

Senior Hebei official pleads guilty of graft

2018-06-13 10:22:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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Yang Chongyong, a former senior legislator in Hebei province, pleaded guilty on Tuesday of accepting bribes valued at more than 206 million yuan ($32.2 million), at the Second Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin.

During the court hearing, Yang said he regretted his crimes, according to the court. A verdict will be released at a later date.

According to the court's statement, Yang abused his position to sell illegal favors from 2008 to 2016 in construction projects, land-use approvals and the establishment and approval of companies. The bribes were paid in cash and gifts.

Yang had been deputy head of the Hebei Provincial People's Congress Standing Committee since 2016. Before that, he had served as vice-governor of Hebei for eight years.

During the court hearing, the judges informed Yang of his rights, interrogated him and listened to his lawyer's opinions to fully protect his legitimate rights.

In April 2017, the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection initiated an investigation of Yang on suspicion of "serious violations of Party disciplines".

In October, he was expelled from the Party and dismissed from his administrative post.

According to the CCDI, Yang was suspected of using fake identity documents to make unauthorized overseas trips, concealed changes in his material status and resisted investigation.

The CCDI said he borrowed vehicles and apartments from local entrepreneurs for lengthy periods.

Yang has severely violated the Party's code of conduct and "polluted the political ecology of Hebei province", the CCDI said in a statement released in July.