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  • Sep 3, 2014
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Zhou Yongkang
NewsChina
CORRUPTION

Xi Jinping sets up special unit to probe Zhou Yongkang corruption case

Xi Jinping takes unusual step of forming special unit to investigate Zhou Yongkang graft scandal, bypassing party's internal disciplinary system

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 October, 2013, 4:53am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 October, 2013, 2:25pm

President Xi Jinping has set up a special unit headed by a senior policeman and deputy minister of public security to investigate the scandal surrounding retired leader Zhou Yongkang, bypassing the Communist Party's internal disciplinary apparatus, sources say.

Beijing police chief Fu Zhenghua will report directly to Xi, according to police and graft watchdog sources. Fu is the first person in the party's history to also hold the concurrent posts of head of Beijing's armed police, the Standing Committee member of the party's Beijing municipal committee and deputy minister of public security.

The arrangement is unusual and reflects not only the sensitivity of Zhou's case but also Xi's personal interest in it. Corrupt officials are usually dealt with by the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and kept incommunicado in an extra-legal, internal system of detention called shuanggui for interrogation before being handed to police and prosecutors.

But at least three separate sources with knowledge of recent interrogations widely believed to be part of a larger corruption probe into Zhou's affairs said police were taking the primary roles in these cases.

It is believed that Xi and CCDI head Wang Qishan wanted police who are more experienced with criminal investigations to handle the investigation rather than the CCDI, whose abilities and methods have been questioned recently.

One of the sources said the top leaders were not satisfied with the CCDI's working style and were aware of frequent abuses during inquiry processes.

But it remains unclear if the new practice of having a special team headed by a senior policeman would set a pattern. "Many of the CCDI officials have been transferred from other departments and have very little experience of investigations and crime-solving," the source said. "Xi and Wang agreed to use police to lead the probes as they believe the police are more professional."

Another source, quoting CCDI officials and police, said: "Xi entrusted Fu to co-ordinate the recent inquiries related to Zhou, while Wang is overseeing the cases and anti-corruption operations in general. Fu is leading a small group of police, mostly from the Beijing Police Bureau, to probe cases such as those of Wu Bing and Guo Yongxiang ."

Wu, a Sichuan billionaire widely believed to have close ties with associates of Zhou's family, was seized in Beijing in early August. Guo, a former deputy governor of Sichuan who rose through the ranks as Zhou was promoted, was detained in June for "serious disciplinary violations" - a party euphemism for corruption.

Fu, 58, was only promoted to deputy minister post in August after the retirement of Zhou, the former national security chief who ruled over the police and other law enforcement agencies for nearly a decade. Fu is also leading a controversial crackdown on influential commentators on the internet, a prominent plank in Xi's plan to "seize the ground of new media".

A forensics expert, Fu made his name with the high-profile bust of Beijing's Passion Nightclub months after he was named the city's police chief in 2010.

The massive crackdown on several prostitution operations, including the luxurious club, surprised the public as the club owner was regarded as being well-connected to military officials.

Another source confirmed the shift to relying more on police than the CCDI in the Zhou case, adding: "Guo Yongxiang was arrested in Chengdu by police from Beijing."

The source added that at a time when the leadership was calling for greater rule of law, it was important that a special unit investigated corruption cases to avoid the much-criticised shuanggui system.

Under party regulations, discipline inspection units can hold suspects under shuanggui for up to four months. But in reality detention is indefinite and reports have emerged of party members being tortured and even beaten to death.

The first source said a series of "bold reforms" of CCDI was expected to be announced after the party's keynote meeting next month.

Authorities endorsed the decision to probe Zhou at the secretive annual party meeting held in August at the Beidaihe resort in Hebei , the Post reported earlier. No Politburo Standing Committee member - retired or sitting - has been investigated for economic crimes since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976.

Several of Zhou's former aides are now under shuanggui, including Jiang Jiemin , ex-chairman of the China National Petroleum Corporation, and Guo, who worked alongside Zhou for 12 years until 2002.

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This article is now closed to comments

L.L.
Cannot write in English... please go to translate... thanks... SCMP...
Het help niet in CN, het is niet alleen de amternaren of overheid, het zit hun bloed, ze zijn vergift! Jaren lang zijn ze in onderdrukking, mishandeling, vervalsing in opvoeding gegeven, van generation tot generation... ik zag dit ook in een hele gewone burgers... so, hoe kun je miljarden helpen om ze weer in een normale mentaliteit doen??? Het is een hele uitgave voor China... !!!
Ze zijn op een ding uit, elkaar gebruiken, dan misbruiken, en dan verbruiken... dat is hun mentaliteit... van denken en doen, jaar in jaar uit... it is so SAD POEPLE... just like here in midden Oosten, they are the same human... living in a another ERA... :-(
Option? No, they don't have it! ... BECAUSE THE WHOLE AZIE THINKING ON THIS WAY ... (IK, IK, IK, EN DE REST MAG STIKKEN!!!) ... ME, ME, ME, AND THE REST CAN GO TO THE HELL!!!
Freedom of speak...
caractacus
How we wish such an investigation would be carried out into certain public figures in HK.
likingming
No way. Unless a serious in-fighting, like CY vs Tang, occur.
shun.lee.3158
I am a old man in USA can the editor tell two thing 1, some one call Ricky Wong if he apply t-v licence he will get it is that true or fail? 2,did Ricky Wong is a liar or honest man or the hero?
newgalileo
Interesting. My former big boss Wang Qishan is a tough guy, I have high regards for him; you don't pick a fight with him neither with Fu Zhenghua. Just before his promotion Fu personally gave me my (new) Green Card...
HiggsSinglet
Nuke that Zhou linage!!!
chaz_hen
Ah, but how to nuke one lineage while protecting your own?
Sifu_628
As expected, Xi is clearing away all threats to his political ascendency by targeting both his rivals (Bo Xilai, others) and their behind-the-scene power-broker (Zhou). One only needs to read the Ancient Chinese story: Romance of the Three Kingdoms, to gauge the scale, scope and depth of the impending crackdown. This is a much anticipated political purging through the guise of cracking down on corruption; Xi must curtail all would-be competitors for executive control and/or political ambition for power-grabbing before he can feel secure as the top-dog of the CCP. Feudalism has never left China, lets all watch and learn!
newgalileo
Xi indeed needs to solidify his power if he wants to really tackle the much-needed reforms of the SOE. Will be interesting to watch the upcoming political meetings...
 
 
 
 
 

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