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Party Official Expelled, Power Chief Sentenced

A vice ministry-level official in Shanxi has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a Beijing power supply bureau chief sentenced to four years for dereliction of duty.

Hou Wujie, once deputy secretary of the CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee, has been stripped of his post and turned over to public prosecuting agencies for criminal investigation following allegations of bribery, China News Service reported yesterday.

He is the first high-level corrupt official to be netted in the province, and preliminary investigations found that the 60-year-old once received US$100,000 and 20,000 yuan ($2,470) in cash from police officer Shao Jianwei to help Shao gain promotion.

Seeking to be public security bureau chief in the province's capital Taiyuan, Shao also gave him a watch worth US$7,500.

Between January 2000 and September 2001, Hou was secretary of the city's CPC committee and a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee, the report said.

Hou is accused of pocketing some 60 gifts valued at 80,000 yuan (US$9,860) from other favor-seekers.

The CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee said yesterday that the case showed the province's unswerving resolve in rooting out corruption by Party members, the report said.

Yesterday, a Beijing court sentenced the city's former power supply bureau chief to four years in prison, China Daily reported today.

Zhao Shuangju, arrested in September last year, was accused of dereliction of duty resulting in economic losses of 457 million yuan (US$56.3 million), Chinacourt.org, the official website for court news and legal information, reported in its Chinese language version yesterday.

Zhao pleaded not guilty at Xicheng District People's Court, which announced the sentence as a first verdict, reports said.

Last year, the National Audit Office found that between 1994 and 1996, Zhao ordered his bureau and subordinate firms to provide a Beijing company with guarantees worth 1.1 billion yuan (US$135.6 million).

When the Beijing Weikerui Company was later on the verge of bankruptcy, a local court ordered the Beijing Electric Power Corp, successor to Zhao's bureau, to shoulder part of the compensation.

(China Daily October 21, 2005)

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