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China jails two former officials, who fled abroad, for corruption

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 11:22

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In a short statement, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection named the two officials as Wang Guoqiang and Li Huabo.

[BEIJING] Chinese courts have jailed two former officials for corruption who had fled abroad to try and avoid justice, the ruling Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog said on Monday.

China has vowed to pursue an overseas search dubbed Operation "Fox Hunt" for corrupt officials and business executives, and their assets, part of President Xi Jinping's war on deep-seated corruption.

In a short statement, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection named the two officials as Wang Guoqiang and Li Huabo.

Li was flown back to China from Singapore in 2015 after completing a jail term there, whilst Wang turned himself in 2014 after two years on the run in the United States.

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Li has been given a life sentence by a court in the southern province of Jiangxi, while a court in the northern province of Liaoning handed out an eight year term for Wang, the commission said.

Wang was found guilty of bribery, while Li was found guilty of a more general charge of corruption, according to the brief statement.

It was not possible to reach representatives of either Li or Wang for comment.

Wang had appeared on a Chinese television programme last year describing how miserable his life on the run had been.

China has been keen to get international support for its fight against corruption, but many Western countries have been reluctant to help, wary of China's poor legal safeguards for suspects and concerns about mistreatment.

Last week, China pledged to banish abuse in graft investigations and urged foreign diplomats to help "weave a cooperative network against corruption".

REUTERS

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