BEIJING: The former vice president of China’s highest court was jailed Thursday for taking more than $16 million in bribes, the most senior judicial official ever convicted in a high-profile anti-graft drive.
Xi Xiaoming, 62, was found guilty of taking the bribes in exchange for “assisting individuals and organizations with their cases and companies with their entry into the market,” according to a statement on the website of the Secondary Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin.
The statement did not provide further details.
Xi, who first joined the Supreme People’s Court in 1982, committed the offences over the course of two decades starting from 1996, the statement said.
In May of 2015, Xi was tapped to lead a newly created research group focusing on China’s civil code. An investigation into his bribery began two months later.
Graft is endemic in China and President Xi Jinping launched a much-publicized anti-corruption drive after coming to power in 2012, vowing to target both high-level “tigers” and low-ranking “flies.”
But analysts say China has failed to implement institutional safeguards against corruption, such as an independent judiciary and free media, leaving anti-graft campaigns subject to political influence.
The government’s Central Commission for Discipline reported last month that 1.2 million people have been punished as part of the campaign. AFP