CHINA> Regional
Lawyer to stand trial for bribing judges
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-12-12 08:05

SHANGHAI -- A high-profile lawyer from Anhui province accused of bribing judges and government officials will stand trial next week, prosecutors said Thursday.

Zhang Tiefeng, 41, who once defended former Formula 1 boss Yu Zhifei, has been charged with bribery, and a hearing is scheduled for next week, a judge surnamed Lu from the Tongguanshan district prosecutor's office in the city of Tongling, Anhui, said.

Tao Haiguang, a former judge from Wuhu, will also be tried for taking bribes from Zhang and rendering judgements that abused the law, Lu said.

According to a report in the Beijing News, between 1996 and February this year, Zhang provided legal counsel to the Wuhu finance bureau and a State-owned construction investment company, and represented them in litigation cases.

Over the period, Zhang is alleged to have paid 300,000 yuan ($44,000) in bribes to seven individuals, including Zha Bin, a divisional head of the bureau; the general manager of the construction firm; and several judges, the report said.

Zhang was arrested in May following an investigation of Zha Bin and the construction firm. Zhang then told authorities of the involvement of Tao and the other judges.

The Wuhu municipal prosecutor's office completed its investigation recently and handed the case to the Tongguanshan district prosecutor's office.

It is now common in China to try major cases in a different district to the one in which an offence occurred to prevent interference by officials who could hold a vested interest in the outcome.