Former Shanghai trade-zone chief jailed 17 years for graft

SHANGHAI: A Chinese courtroom on Friday sentenced the previous director of Shanghai’s free-trade zone to 17 years in jail for corruption, pronouncing he pocketed $7.2 million thru embezzlement and taking bribes.
Ai Baojun, additionally a former vice mayor of Shanghai, used to be officially stripped of his free-trade zone submit in January 2016 after coming beneath investigation by the ruling Communist Party, which on the time accused him of a decadent way of life at personal golf equipment, enjoying golfing, and “buying and selling energy for intercourse”.
A courtroom within the town of Zhangzhou in japanese Fujian province the place he used to be attempted stated in a remark that his embezzlement and bribe-taking spanned 2000-2014, ranging from when he used to be a most sensible legitimate with steelmaker Baosteel, and thru his time in Shanghai executive and the commerce zone.
It made no point out of the former accusations over his way of life or sexual transgressions.
His sentence used to be lightened from an meant 25 years since many of the bribes have been routed thru members of the family, the observation stated, including that Ai confessed to all of the fees.
The Shanghai free-trade zone, China’s first, used to be arrange in 2013 as a checking out floor for financial reforms.
Since President Xi Jinping assumed energy 4 years in the past, China has introduced an extraordinary anti-corruption marketing campaign, vowing to focus on each high-level “tigers” and low-ranking “flies”, even if critics say the crackdown is open to abuse for political causes.
Chinese media have stated Ai is the highest-level Shanghai respectable felled within the anti-graft pressure, calling him the town’s “first tiger”.

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