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Former China rail chief admits graft

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2013-09-10 15:53

A former senior railway official pleaded guilty to corruption on Tuesday morning during his trial at a Beijing court.

Zhang Shuguang, former director of the transport bureau for the now-defunct Ministry of Railways — the agency was dissolved this year — stands accused of accepting bribes of 47.55 million yuan ($7.78 million).

Prosecutors said a large sum came from private companies, and in return they received favors while participating in the construction of China's high-speed railways.

Zhang told the court he had no objection to the charge.

The defendant, who was also at one time the ministry's deputy chief engineer, was the right-hand man of former minister of railways Liu Zhijun, particularly in the development of high-speed rail.

Liu, 60, received a suspended death sentence in July for accepting 64.6 million yuan in bribes and abuse of power.

Tuesday's trial started at 9:30 am at Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court and ended around noon. The trail will continue in the afternoon from 1:50 pm.

Last week, Su Shunhu, former deputy director of the transport bureau, was prosecuted in the same court for taking bribes of more than 24 million yuan. Su also pleaded guilty. The verdict is pending.

Experts said successive trials of former senior railway officials for corruption highlights the need for work to battle graft in the railways system.

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