Top Chinese official sentenced to 20 years for graft

A former high-ranking provincial official and a close associate of ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang was on Wednesday sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Beijing: A former high-ranking provincial official and a close associate of ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang was on Wednesday sentenced to 20 years in prison for corruption, becoming the fourth ally of once powerful but now disgraced security czar to be punished this week.

Guo Yongxiang, previously the vice-governor of the Sichuan province, was sentenced by the Yichang Intermediate People's Court for accepting the bribe of 43 million yuan (USD 6.8 million).

Guo's "personal and family assets and expenditures clearly exceeded his and his family's legal income", the court said in a microblog post.

Guo was regarded as an aide to Zhou, 72, the former head of China's national security, who in June became one of China's most senior official to be sentenced for life on graft charges.

Also Li Dongsheng, former vice minister of the Public Security Ministry, went on trial for bribe-taking in north China's Tianjin Municipality today.

The Tianjin People's Procuratorate accused Li of taking advantage of several government posts he held between 1996 and 2013 to seek profits for organisations and individuals through processes including acquiring bids and job transfers.

During the period, Li's positions also included deputy president of state broadcaster CCTV and membership of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

He directly or through relatives received 21.98 million yuan (USD 3.46 million) in assets and bribes between 2007 and 2013, the prosecutors said.

A verdict will be announced at a later day, said the Second Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin, which heard the case, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

This is the latest in a series of trials of former high-ranking officials netted in China's anti-corruption campaign.

Jiang Jiemin, former head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Monday.

Wang Yongchun, a senior energy executive, received 20 years in prison yesterday.

Ji Wenlin, former vice governor of Hainan Province and another associate of Zhou, went on trial yesterday on corruption charges.

Two other key Zhou allies, Jiang Jiemin and Li Chuncheng, were sentenced to 16 and 13 years respectively on Monday for bribery and abuse of power.

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