Fallen Xinjiang chief admits taking bribes

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 26 Jul 2019

A former chairman of the Xinjiang region pleaded guilty at a trial yesterday to accepting 79.1 million yuan (HK$89.9 million) in bribes.

It is among the most high-profile cases in President Xi Jinping's sweeping campaign against corruption in the Communist Party, which critics have compared to a political purge.

The Shenyang Intermediate People's Court said Nur Bekri - who rose to become head of the national energy administration - pleaded guilty and "showed repentance" during trial.

Photos released by the Shenyang court showed Bekri in a white shirt and dark slacks, standing between two police officers in the courtroom. He looked gaunt and noticeably thinner compared to photos last March.

Bekri, an ethnic Uygur, served as deputy director of the country's top economic planning office. During Bekri's tenure in Xinjiang, he oversaw riots that left nearly 200 dead.

Last September, the anti-graft agency said Bekri was being investigated for "serious violations of Party disciplinary rules and laws".

Bekri had resisted investigators and was untruthful, the anti-corruption watchdog said.

"[He] lived extravagantly... was morally corrupt, and abused his power for sexual favors," the Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection said.

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