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Former judge jailed over graft charges

A CHINESE court yesterday jailed for life a former senior judge from the highest court, after finding him guilty of corruption, the latest official to fall foul of a sweeping crackdown on graft.

Xi Xiaoming, a former vice president of the Supreme People’s Court, was put under investigation last year.

He was one of the most senior judicial officials to be ousted by the anti-corruption campaign since the downfall of Zhou Yongkang, the former domestic security chief whose brief included law enforcement and courts.

Zhou was jailed for life in 2015.

China Central Television said a court in the northern city of Tianjin found Xi guilty of accepting 115 million yuan (US$16.8 million) in bribes between 1996 and 2015.

Xi admitted his guilt and has repented.

Therefore, he received a lighter sentence, the report said.

This likely means he avoided a death sentence.

The judge, a member of the ruling Chinese Communist Party for 40 years, was also accused by the Party last year of breaching confidentiality rules and leaking secrets related to judicial work.

He was the number four official in the Supreme People’s Court, where he specialised in economic law cases.

A native of eastern Jiangsu Province, he rose from working as a policeman in the city of Shenyang in the 1970s to the highest echelon of the judiciary.

China’s leaders have pledged to combat graft, crucial to the Party’s survival, and have vowed to go after “tigers” in senior positions as well as lowly “flies.”

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