Ex-Hebei party boss charged with graft

BEIJING • China has indicted the former Communist Party boss of the northern province of Hebei on suspicion of bribery, the state prosecutor said yesterday.

The official, Zhou Benshun, had worked previously with China's disgraced one-time domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, who was jailed for life in June after a secret trial in China's most sensational graft scandal in 70 years.

As the party boss in Hebei, Zhou Benshun was the top official in the province surrounding Beijing and China's most important steel producer.

The prosecutor said Zhou was subject to "coercive measures", a term which normally refers to detention. He was sacked in July when he was accused of "serious breaches of discipline and the law", a euphemism for corruption.

The prosecutor provided no further details and it was not possible to reach him for comment. It is also unclear if Zhou has a lawyer. The party's corruption watchdog handed his case over to the legal authorities earlier this month.

The Hebei city of Zhangjiakou this year won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics along with Beijing. Zhou had attended meetings of the bid committee.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2015, with the headline 'Ex-Hebei party boss charged with graft'. Print Edition | Subscribe