Many more facing investigation in Shenzhen's 'biggest judicial graft case' A vice-president of Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court and four other senior judges have been detained for allegedly accepting bribes and indulging in decadent lifestyles. Many more face investigation in what is believed to be the city's biggest judicial corruption case. Court vice-president Pei Hongquan was taken away from his house in the middle of the night last month. His ex-wife, Li Huiliu , a director of the court, was also detained, a source familiar with the situation said. Three other senior judges were also detained: head judge Zhang Tinghua, who was in charge of bankruptcy cases, head judge Cai Xiaoling, who was in charge of cases involving Hong Kong people and foreigners, and Judge Liao Zhaohui. Judge Zhang was detained an hour after he was promoted to a head judge on June 6, the source said. They have been under shuanggui - a form of Communist Party disciplinary investigation. The five were detained at a secret location to stop them contacting other people. A spokesman for Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court declined to comment on the cases but said court operations were normal. Judge Pei and the others are alleged to have taken or offered bribes for promotions or passed favourable verdicts to those who paid them. Investigators found more than HK$1.2 million and 300,000 yuan at Judge Zhang's house. His personal assets were estimated at tens of millions of yuan. The source said Judge Zhang had asked lawyers and businessmen for money. A complaint letter sent to the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection alleged that Judge Zhang had asked a lawyer over the phone for 500,000 yuan to help the judge gain promotion to head judge. Judges Pei and Zhang are also accused of indulging in a 'decadent lifestyle' and keeping mistresses. Both judges had been in charge of handling bankruptcy cases. Judge Pei, a native of Jilin province who is in his 40s, was often praised by local media for his reform efforts when he was the head of the Lohu district court in 2000. A few days before his arrest, Judge Pei told local media that he would push for more transparency in the judicial system. 'The spectre of corruption can only haunt in darkness, just as the flower of justice will only blossom in sunshine', he said. Their arrests were believed to be only 'the tip of an iceberg', the source said. More than 20 judges have been questioned by the anti-graft investigators so far. Officials and judges of Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court held a secret meeting in Dongguan shortly after Judge Pei's arrest. An insider said they were told to 'keep lips tight and not name names when questioned'. The corruption scandal has apparently affected the court's operation, with many judges calling in sick or taking extended leave. Judicial corruption has become a rampant problem on the mainland. Xiao Yang , the president of the Supreme People's Court, has admitted that senior court officials are 'prone to corruption and should be kept under close supervision'.