China Supreme Court Judge Sentenced To 12 Years In Jail For Corruption

China Supreme Court Judge Sentenced To 12 Years In Jail For Corruption

12 Apr 2023 ( NDTV )

A supreme court judge in China has been jailed for 12 years for accepting bribes worth 22.7 million yuan (USD 3.3 million) over two decades.

Judge Meng Xiang, a former director of the Supreme People’s Court’s enforcement bureau and member of its trial committee, was also fined two million yuan after he admitted accepting bribes between 2003 and 2020, the intermediate people’s court in Zhengzhou city announced on Tuesday.

The court said Meng had used his status and power to accept bribes in exchange for helping others with matters such as court rulings and law enforcement, securing construction contracts for firms and influencing cadre selection, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Meng, 58, was placed under investigation two years ago as part of a “self-rectification” campaign targeting judicial and land enforcement officials, the report said.

He had worked in the country’s justice system for more than three decades, starting as a clerk in a local district court in Beijing.

As he rose through the ranks he held various leadership positions in the judicial system, including the high people’s court in Beijing.

While Meng’s case highlights the corruption in the higher echelons of China’s judiciary, Zhou Qiang, a former chief justice, said during the annual meeting of the legislature last month that 61 officials from the supreme court – which comprises hundreds of judges and administrative officials – had been placed under investigation and punished over the past five years.

Meng’s role as a member of the supreme court’s trial committee – a group of high-ranking officials selected by the National People’s Congress, the country’s legislature – meant he was involved in discussions about complex and important cases, the report said.

He was made director of the enforcement bureau in 2016 – a role that meant he was responsible for helping to maintain the smooth operation of the justice system.

The bureau enforces court orders, handles disputes involving the execution of judgments across different regions or provinces and reviews appeals relating to those judgments.

The verdict said Meng had been given a lighter sentence because he had expressed remorse and confessed to bribery offences the authorities had not previously known about.

All his illegal earnings will be confiscated, and any interest accrued will be handed over to the national treasury, the Post report said.