Caixin
Nov 24, 2021 08:36 PM
CHINA

Former Editor at State-Run Newspaper Gets 13 Years for Bribery

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A former editor working for Communist Party's official newspaper People’s Daily has been sentenced to 13 years in prison and fined 1.4 million yuan ($219,078) after being found to have both accepted and offered bribes worth 3 million yuan each, according to the court document seen by Caixin.

Ding Ting, a former director at the editorial center of the People’s Daily’s bureau in Haikou, South China’s Hainan province, was also deprived of political rights for three years, the First Intermediate People’s Court of Hainan Province ruled Monday.

The court said it will confiscate the 3 million yuan in illegal gains that haven’t been handed.

Ding, 39, had worked for the newspaper for 14 years before being expelled from the Communist Party and dismissed from public office in July 2020 over bribery allegations. Earlier that month, she was detained by Hainan police.

Ding’s case comes as China has stepped up its corruption crackdown with an apparent shift in focus to probing and punishing people offering and paying bribes — not just those accepting them — following a constant increase in corruption cases.

According to the judgement, Ding took 3 million yuan in bribes from Wang Tieming, the then director of the Sanya Municipal Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Prosecutors said Ding met Wang in January 2016 when she, as a reporter, interviewed Wang about Sanya’s progress in carrying out a program on the local ecological restoration and urban renewal. The Sanya housing authority was one of the departments responsible for the program.

Ding promised to help Wang publicize the authority’s work, with an article published by People’s Daily drawing widespread attention in February that year. To thank Ding for her help and with the expectation of receiving more favors in the future, Wang later sent her 3 million yuan in cash.

Prosecutors also said Ding offered 3 million yuan in cash to Zhang Jiahui, former vice president at the Hainan Provincial High People’s Court in April 2019 in a dispute case linked to her husband. Zhang helped “greet” the judge who finally ruled in favor of her husband’s side.

Ding maintained her innocence during the hearing, which opened in August, according to the judgement.

“We have filed an appeal requesting that the criminal verdict of the Hainan court be revoked, and the judgment be changed to acquittal or remanded for retrial,” her mother told Caixin.

Wang was also expelled from the party and removed from public office in October 2019 after a months-long investigation. He was later convicted on suspicion of bribery and his case was heard via video link in July 2020.

Wang pleaded guilty in court, but his ruling has not yet been made public, according to the official newspaper Hainan Daily.

Contact reporter Wang Xintong (xintongwang@caixin.com) and editor Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com)

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