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Ex-minister to stand trial on graft charges
By Liu Chang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-29 06:34

The trial of former Land and Resources Minister Tian Fengshan, who is charged with receiving bribes amounting to 4.98 million yuan (US$614,000), will possibly begin in the first half of next year.

Ex-minister to stand trial on graft chargesThe Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court has placed the case on file, the Beijing News reported.

Tian was arrested in September last year. He was discharged from his position in 2003 and expelled from the Communist Party of China last year.

Born in 1940 in Zhaoyuan County of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Tian served as governor of Heilongjiang since 1995. In 2003, he was appointed minister of the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Tian allegedly received bribes during 1996-2003 when he was governor of Heilongjiang Province and Land and Resources minister, according to an announcement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November last year.

Former Vice-Secretary of the Jixi Municipal Committee of CPC Cao Guohui and former Secretary of the Suihua Municipal Committee of CPC Ma De offered bribes to Tian, sources said.

When giving bribes to Tian, his superior officer, Ma also took bribes of 6 million yuan (US$740,000) from low-level officials who sought promotion from 1993 to 2002.

The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court sentenced Ma in July to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes.

In Suihua of Heilongjiang Province, some 50 government department heads were promoted after bribing Ma. This is reported to be China's largest scandal involving the selling of official posts.

Cao had been arrested and had not been sentenced yet.

(China Daily 11/29/2005 page2)

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