Jia Qinglin

Fujian party official jailed for life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2010, 12:00am

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A top party official in Fujian province was jailed for life yesterday for taking more than eight million yuan in bribes, state media reported.

The Nanjing Intermediate People's Court heard that Chen Shaoyong, 54, the former general secretary of the Communist Party's Fujian provincial committee, had used his positions between 1992 and 2008 to help 11 companies and 15 individuals succeed in business or get promotions in exchange for up to 8.19 million yuan (HK$9.3 million) in bribes, Xinhua reported.

Chen was party secretary of the city of Ningde in Fujian before becoming general secretary of the provincial party committee - a vice-ministerial-level post. The report did not say why the case was handled by a court in Nanjing , the capital of Jiangsu province.

Chen was also said to have led a decadent lifestyle, with several mistresses.

The report said the court had handed down the relatively lenient sentence after considering Chen's spontaneous confession to a large number of crimes that the investigative task force had been unaware of, as well as the fact that he had returned all of the money he had amassed illicitly to the authorities.

All Chen's assets were confiscated, and he was deprived of his political rights.

Once regarded as a rising political star, Chen was promoted to the position of Fujian provincial party secretary of the Communist Youth League - considered to be the political power base of party general secretary Hu Jintao - in 1987 when only 32.

Overseas reports attributed Chen's rapid climb up the political ladder to his strong connections with Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. From 1991 to 1996, Jia was Fujian governor and then the provincial party secretary. Chen worked under Jia before Jia was appointed acting Beijing mayor in 1996.