|Yang Dacai, the official with the smirk and luxe wardrobe on trial
An official with a penchant for luxury watches who sparked outrage after he was pictured smiling at the scene of a fatal accident went on trial for corruption, reports said.
Yang Dacai was dubbed “Brother Watch'' by Chinese internet users after images of him wearing various luxury brand watches were tracked down and circulated online.
He came under scrutiny from furious netizens after he was pictured grinning broadly as he assessed the twisted wreckage of a bus and a methanol tanker following an accident in which 36 people died last year, AFP reports.
An investigation by the ruling Communist Party's discipline inspection commission found him guilty of “inappropriate 'smiling face' behaviour’’ and he was dismissed from his post as head of the work safety administration in Shaanxi province.
Yang went on trial today accused of having property worth 5.04 million yuan from unexplained sources, and accepting 250,000 yuan in bribes, state broadcaster CCTV said on its verified Sina Weibo microblog.
He did not object to the charges, it added.
Yang is one of a number of government officials to be derided by netizens after being involved in an online scandal, as authorities seek to contain popular anger at perceived expensive tastes and corruption among public servants.
Pictures posted online showed him wearing 11 flashy watches – five of which were together worth more than 300,000 yuan, the China Daily newspaper quoted an expert as saying. Other images showed him in designer glasses and belts.