Bribery case in court after 13 years

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 November, 2007, 12:00am


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Of the thousands of wanted officials deported back to the mainland in recent years, Song Shihe , one-time director of the Heilongjiang Development and Reform Commission, is arguably among the least corrupt to face court.

After 13 years on the run in North America, Song, 65, appeared in a Qiqihar court on Tuesday to face charges that he accepted a bribe of 25,000 yuan, the Procuratorial Daily reported.

Song, 65, flew to Canada from Hong Kong in 1994 and settled in the US four years later, but it was not all smooth sailing.

'The United States is not heaven,' Song wrote in a confession. 'The local Chinese were cold and kept their distance from me when they realised that I was a corrupt government official who fled from the mainland.'

It is still a mystery how Song managed to survive in the US for the best part of a decade. But it is known that he married.

Between 2003 and last year, more than 3,500 corrupt officials who had fled overseas were deported to the mainland.