Ex-minister’s case nears end

By Yu Qian Source:Global Times Published: 2012-8-7 1:30:05

The Ministry of Railways recently announced details of disciplinary violations by former railway minister Liu Zhijun, who was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to media reports.

The ministry made the internal announcement on Friday, reported caixin.com.

The report said the announcement details Liu's disciplinary violations on bribe-taking, political and ethical misconducts, many of which are closely linked to Ding Shumiao, an executive of the Beijing Boyou Investment Management Corp.

Liu, 59, took advantage of his position to help Ding make huge illicit gains, the caixin.com reported.

The assets of Ding's company soared from 474 million yuan ($74 million) in 2008 to 4.5 billion yuan in 2010, the Xinhua News Agency reported earlier.

According to caixin.com, Liu helped Ding's company to win the bid for a project worth 3 billion yuan and was aware of the fact that a company of Ding's charged 10 million yuan as a sponsorship payment from railway engineering companies in the 2010 World Congress on High Speed Rail.

The report also said Liu asked Ding to lobby other officials to get a post transfer to local governments for himself.

However, it still remains unclear how much money in total was involved in Liu's case.

Liu was appointed vice minister of railways in 1996 and minister in 2003. He was removed from his post and came under investigation in February 2011. He was expelled from the party in May.

Observers say the internal announcement signals that the investigation into Liu's misdeeds is drawing to an end.

Lin Zhe, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times Monday that the investigation strictly followed the CPC Central Committee's juridical regulations on investigating corrupt officials.

"The investigation is now at the last step which is called accountability-tracing," said Lin, noting that Liu's investigation will likely be completed before the opening of the 18th National Congress of the CPC due in later this year.

China's discipline inspection agency last month said more than 60 ministerial and provincial officials were punished for disciplinary violations since the Party's last national congress in 2007.

Xinhua reported that at least eight senior officials at the Ministry of Railways have been sacked in the past two years and placed under investigation.

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