A former Beijing municipal traffic police chief was tried on Monday for allegedly accepting bribes worth 23.9 million yuan ($3.85 million) for trading in privileged car license plates.
According to the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court, 61-year-old Song Jian'guo admitted to misusing his government position for the benefit of others. However, Song claimed in his defense that 15.3 million yuan ($2.46 million) of the total amount involved in the case should not considered as bribes, China Daily reported, citing the court, which is expected to announce its verdict at a later date.
Song, who was removed from his post in December 2012, was charged on Feb. 6 with abusing his power to grant individuals license plates with the letter “A” -- a symbol, which is reserved for vehicles used by top government officials.
According to local reports, Song accepted two shops from a businessman in return for using his power to solve public security-related disputes. Song is also accused of giving the businessman “A” license plates with road privileges. However, one of the defendant’s lawyers said the vehicle plates provided by Song did not hinder the city’s registration lottery plan as people who received such plates already had other privileged plates, Shenzhen Daily reported.
Song was also accused of accepting about 2 million yuan from a local driving school between 2007 and 2012 to help lift administrative bans imposed on the school. In addition, Song also allegedly accepted bribes from an advertising company, allowing it to set up large TV screens on major roads.