China police chief, who let off drunk son for attacking police officer, charged with graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - The former police chief of a major city in northern China has been charged with corruption, state media said on Thursday, after he was sacked for allowing his drunk son to be set free, despite having attacked a policeman.

Li Yali was the top police officer in Taiyuan, which lies about 500km south-west of Beijing, until last year, when footage of his son's drunken violence went viral on the Internet.

His son, Li Zhengyuan, was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in October 2012 and was found to be drunk at the wheel. He attacked one of the police officers, who then walked him home instead of arresting him, state media said.

A Communist Party investigation found that Li Yali had abused his power while handling his son's case, and he has now been arrested and charged with accepting bribes, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It gave no other details of the charges Li faces and it was not possible to reach him for comment.

Abuse of power, particularly by officials covering up the crimes of family members, strikes a particularly raw nerve in China due to widespread concern about how pervasive the problem is in a country with little concept of the rule of law.

President Xi Jinping has vowed to go after the corrupt and improve the legal system as he tries to restore faith in the ruling Communist Party after a slew of high-profile graft and abuse of power cases that have angered the public.

The government this month announced the arrest of former public security chief Zhou Yongkang, one of China's most powerful politicians of the last decade, on corruption and other charges.

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