Corruption in China

Vice-mayor of Beijing sacked in graft probe

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2006, 12:00am

The Beijing People's Congress yesterday fired vice-mayor Liu Zhihua for alleged corruption, Xinhua reported.

Liu, who was in charge of construction for the Beijing Olympics, was sacked 'because he lived a decadent life', the brief report said.

It said the Beijing People's Congress Standing Committee had verified 'facts about his wrongdoings' which were 'quite serious' and had a harmful social influence.

Highlighting the seriousness of Liu's alleged crimes, Xinhua said his case was now being investigated by the country's two highest anti-corruption bodies - the Communist Party Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision.

The investigation into Liu's alleged crimes appeared to be a well-kept secret. On May 1, he was still to be seen inspecting various construction projects in Beijing with other city government leaders.

The 57-year-old vice-mayor from Liaoning province was responsible for Beijing's construction, housing, transport and sports activities before his downfall. He was also in charge of the Engineering and Construction Office for the Olympics.

The report did not give details of Liu's alleged crimes or specifically link him with the Olympics.

China's top leaders have vowed to closely watch funding for Olympic projects to stem corruption and embezzlement.

News of the sacking spread quickly on the internet, with messages speculating over Liu's crimes.

'It looks like this fat job has given vice-mayor Liu plenty of support to live a decadent life,' read one.

Liu is the most senior Beijing city official to be sacked over alleged corruption since the jailing of former Beijing party secretary Chen Xitong in 1998.