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Guo Wengui will finally be brought to justice

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-11 11:46

Three former executives of Pangu Investment Co Ltd stood trial in Xigang District People's Court in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province, on Friday for fraudulently obtaining loans and foreign exchange using fabricated documents. All of the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

These economic crimes, however, are only the tip of the iceberg for the company's actual controlling shareholder Guo Wengui, who fled to the United States in 2014, and is subsequently subject to an Interpol Red Notice.

Guo, who rose from obscurity in the countryside of Liaocheng in East China's Shandong province, is wanted for allegedly accumulating huge amounts of wealth over the past two decades by means of land speculation, insider trading and swindling bank loans.

To pave the way for these activities, he allegedly established an alliance of interests with corrupt senior officials who he bribed with money and women. He has been associated with a number of fallen officials including Ma Jian, former vice-minister of the Ministry of State Security, Zhang Yue, former chief of politics and law of North China's Hebei province, and Xiang Junbo, former chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Guo's business empire was actually enabled by these corrupt officials' trading power for money and rent seeking, as well as their illegal seizure of State and private assets. That also explains why Guo had been seen as being an "infinitely resourceful" businessman who could do anything he wanted.

His case has long been regarded as sensitive, and thus eye-catching, because of the large number of senior officials involved.

That most of the officials involved in Guo's case have already been caught and punished has fueled speculation about Guo's fate.

The trial in Dalian, though not a big case given the seriousness of the crimes Guo is suspected of committing, sends a clear message that the judicial authorities have acquired enough evidence in the three years since he fled the country to initiate the trial of Guo.

The court is making public the trial proceedings by updating its official micro blog with words and photos in a real-time manner.

Such courtroom transparency has become the normal practice in cases where there is great public interest. It not only satisfies the public's right to know, but also puts the judicial process under public scrutiny, so as to better ensure judicial justice and fairness.

It was believed that Guo's repatriation would only be a matter of time. Justice may be late, but it will never be absent. All people are equal before the law, no matter how "resourceful" they are.

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