Friday, October 23, 2020

China’s richest judge indicted for fraud, bribery

-

A Chinese judge known as the richest in the country has been charged with fraud, taking bribes and abusing her powers after it was revealed that a gambling habit lay behind her £200 million fortune.

Zhang Jiahui, 55, a former vice-president of the high people’s court in Hainan province, was indicted after video footage surfaced of her playing mahjong for money.

Mahjong gambling, though common, is strictly banned in China. The news that a judge had been involved provoked a wave of public anger and demands for an investigation. It highlighted the prevalence of government corruption in China, where courts are not immune to the problem, and cast doubt on the legal system.

Ms Zhang was said to have started her bet at £25 per hand with no upper limit. Winnings from one hand could be as much as £2,500, raising suspicions of Ms Zhang’s integrity. Mahjong gambling is often used to disguise bribes when the briber loses on purpose.

- Advertisement -

Ms Zhang’s husband, also a former government official, owned or controlled at least 35 companies, some of which were held by relatives and friends. He has been indicted in a separate case on charges of faking the company seal and bringing fake litigation.

State media reported that the couple had persuaded relatives to bring legal proceedings and pursue economic interests through court rulings. “It’s likely that the two used their deep legal background and deft judiciary skills, possibly their rich resources within the legal system, to quickly accumulate wealth,” the China Business Journal reported. In one case, Liu Yuansheng, Ms Zhang’s husband, used litigation to seize a golf course project for a bargain price, although it was unclear what role Ms Zhang had played.

Investigators said the judge had abused her powers as she “used the convenience of her position to seek benefits for others”.

“She took bribes that were particularly huge,” the prosecuting office said, adding that she had “ordered and directed others to make wrong rulings by going against the fact”. Investigations have shown that Ms Zhang intervened in legal proceedings and used her position to seek benefits for others in exchange for huge bribes. The local supervision commission called her “a hypocrite who has low morals”.

- Advertisement -

The commission said Ms Zhang had failed to report family wealth as required and did not disclose her 2017 divorce, a possible ploy by which she could disown assets held in Mr Liu’s name. State media said the couple were thought to be living together after their divorce.

Investigators said they had examined 1,300 sets of documents and 156,000 pages of statements, and spoken to more than 1,200 people, before they concluded that Ms Zhang had violated Communist party discipline and national law.

MUST READ

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another...

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan admits casino ‘enabled’ money laundering

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan has conceded the casino giant facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne casino, but blamed it on "ineptitude" rather than...

Rapper Nuke Bizzle charged with COVID-19 relief aid fraud after bragging in music video

A rapper who bragged about defrauding the government’s unemployment program in a music video has been arrested on federal charges of carrying out the...

Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks