Thursday, July 26, 2007

Well, Chen is finally out of the party, and the likelihood now is that he will be criminally prosecuted....poor Chen. What he is accused of doing is exactly what hundreds of other city officials out there are doing. Granted, since Shanghai is the biggest city, it was done on a larger scale.

Top China boss removed from party
Chen Liangyu on 21 September 2006
Mr Chen was the most senior official to be sacked in a decade
The former Communist Party leader of Shanghai has been expelled from the party, state media reports.

Chen Liangyu was also sacked from all his government positions, according to state television.

He was fired last year after a probe into the alleged misuse of the city's pension fund. Many other senior figures were also accused of involvement.

Analysts say the latest move against Mr Chen could take him one step closer to standing trial on corruption charges.

The party has vowed to crackdown on officials found guilty of corruption, which has become rampant since market reforms opened the economy in the 1980s.

'Illegal loans'

State media said Mr Chen, the former party secretary in Shanghai, had been handed over to judicial authorities and that his case had made a "very negative impact" on the image of the Communist Party.

Mr Chen 60, was fired last September after a government investigation into the alleged misuse of at least one third of Shanghai's 10bn yuan ($1.2bn) pension fund.

Beijing power play

The money was said to have been used to make illegal loans and investments in real estate and other infrastructure deals.

Mr Chen was accused of seeking benefits for companies and relatives, and for protecting corrupt officials.

The case also led to the removal and detention of several other officials, including the city's social security and labour chief.

Mr Chen was the first member of the Politburo, the party's top leadership council, to be dismissed for corruption since 1995.

Following his dismissal last September, he did not turn up at Beijing in March for the annual session of parliament.

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