Zhang Shuguang, former top rail engineer, to face trial for graft

Zhang Shuguang accused of taking 47m yuan in bribes to help firms win high-speed-rail bids

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 4:30am

The former deputy chief engineer of the disbanded railways ministry will soon stand trial on graft allegations, while a corruption case against another high-ranking former ministry official goes to court today.

The case against Zhang Shuguang, formerly director of the ministry's transport bureau and its deputy chief engineer, had been turned over to the Beijing's No.2 Intermediate People's Court for prosecution, China News Service reported yesterday.

The report said Zhang, 57, took 47 million yuan in bribes between 2000 and 2011 in exchange for using his position to help several companies win contracts for a series of high-speed rail projects. He will face 13 charges related to bribery, it said.

Zhang is known for helping to promote foreign high-speed rail technology on the mainland, and he played an integral role in the the rail system's development. He was also a close associate of Liu Zhijun , the former railways minister who was given a suspended death sentence for fostering corruption throughout the railway system during his tenure and accepting 64.6 million yuan in bribes.

Zhang was removed from office and investigated in February 2011 for corruption, soon after Liu had been detained. Mainland media have speculated he may have as much as US$2.8 billion stashed away in overseas accounts.

In addition to Zhang, several senior ministry officials with confirmed ties to Liu's case, including Su Shunhu , the former deputy director of the transportation bureau at the ministry, have been sacked over the past two years and placed under investigation. Su will face bribery charges today at Beijing's No. 2 Intermediate People's Court following his indictment.

Su is accused of taking more than 24 million yuan in bribes from three companies between 2003 and 2011, The Beijing News reported. He was suspended from his post in June 2011.

Prosecutors said Su started to take bribes in 2003, when he helped the owner of a mine in Shanxi province that moved coal using the rail network. A trading company in Beijing was allegedly the biggest payer of bribes to Su, giving him 12.1 million yuan between 2008 and 2011 for his help in moving company products by rail.

Newly released figures show state prosecutors investigated 141 criminal cases involving railway staff in the first six months of the year, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate.