Corruption in China

Ex-statistics chief on trial for bigamy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2007, 12:00am

Disgraced statistics chief Qiu Xiaohua could be sentenced to two years for bigamy after the authorities failed to charge him with bribe-taking.

Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po, citing 'influential sources', reported yesterday that Qiu's case had opened recently at the Xicheng District People's Court in Beijing.

It said that as the judicial authorities failed to prove Qiu had sought benefits in exchange for alleged kickbacks totalling 220,000 yuan, the former top statistician was to be charged only with bigamy. The report said there was much evidence showing Qiu had committed adultery with many women and been involved in vice activities overseas.

Qiu, who was sacked in October, was expelled from the Communist Party and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference earlier this year. Compared with bribe-taking, bigamy was a light charge, the newspaper said.

Xicheng court spokesman Zhang Hui said yesterday he was not aware that Qiu's case had opened.

Qiu was one of the most senior officials to be sacked for alleged corruption last year, along with Shanghai's former party chief Chen Liangyu . If he is charged only with bigamy, however, he would probably face a maximum two years in jail under mainland criminal law.

Peking University law professor He Weifang said it was unclear whether justice would be served because it was a closed-door trial.

'We have no way to prove whether there was no evidence to prove his bribe-taking charge,' Professor He said.