Corruption charges: Ling Jihua, Ex-Presidential Aide in China, Gets Life Sentence


BEIJING: A close aide of former Chinese president Hu Jintao was, on Monday, jailed for life for taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power, making him one of the senior officials of the previous regime to be punished in the anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping. Mr. Ling was found guilty on Monday of taking bribes, abuse of power and illegally obtaining state secrets, the news reports said. He is one of the highest-ranking Chinese officials to be jailed for corruption.

Mr. Ling joins two other notable senior party officials, Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang, in receiving a lifetime prison sentence for corruption. Ling's high profile world was exposed when his son Ling Gu's died after crashing his Ferrari sports car here in March, 2012. Two young women, who were in the car were also seriously injured. There were allegations of a cover up of the investigations. He was one of the several top CPC politicians who were prosecuted for corruption and abuse of power in Xi's high profile anti-corruption campaign in which thousands of officials from different ranks were prosecuted in the last three years.

Besides Ling, those prosecuted include former national security Czar Zhou Yangkong, former Chinese politician Bo Xilai and his wife as well as top military officials like Xu Caihou and Guo Boxiong. The indictment accused Ling of seeking benefits for others and asking for and illegally accepting a huge amount of property, taking advantage of his powerful posts, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"Ling's offence in illegally obtaining state secrets is serious and he also committed extremely serious offence in abusing his power and causing major losses to public property and the interests of the country and its people," the indictment said. It said he should be held "criminally" responsible for accepting bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power.