Chinese prosecutors announced Tuesday that the government has launched a criminal investigation against a former top official accused of taking bribes. The official had also been expelled from the ruling Communist party and stripped of all his government positions on Monday.
The official named Su Rong was a former vice chairman of China's top political advisory body, and is considered to be one of the country’s most senior officials to be targeted by President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign, The Associated Press (AP) reported. The 66-year-old official came under scanner last year when he was serving as the vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress.
According to a written statement issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party's regulatory agency, Su defied party disciplines by randomly changing decisions. The commission also accused him of taking “huge amounts of bribes” for seeking promotions for others as well as taking benefits for businesses.
The commission also stated that Su’s illegal actions have caused significant losses in state assets, prompting judicial authorities to likely indict him on charges of both bribery and misuse of power.
The latest move against Su came after a Chinese court sentenced a health official in Shanghai to 19 years in prison for taking bribes of more than $481,000 while embezzling nearly $225,000, Voice of America reported.
Earlier this month, China had warned its prominent artists and cultural figures that they could be the next target of the government's anti-corruption drive. An article in China’s state-run media said that the country’s famous cultural figures “use their names to befriend both the powerful and the wealthy, and make themselves middlemen.”
Last month, the Chinese government put its top spy official Ma Jian under investigation for alleged disciplinary violations.