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Corruption trial of housing official begins

By : Xinhua | Published: 2014-August-7

[Inkunming--China]  A former housing administration official in central China went on trial on Wednesday on charges of embezzlement, corruption, accepting and offering bribes, and taking advantages of his position.

The trial of Zhai Zhenfeng, a former director of the housing bureau of a district of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, started at the city Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday morning.

Three others from the real estate industry were on trial with Zhai, charged with embezzling public funds.

Zhai is accused of embezzling 30 million yuan (about 4.8 million U.S. dollars) of public funds with Wang Bochang, board chairman of Henan Province Road and Bridge Construction Co., Ltd., and seven million yuan of public funds with the other two -- Feng Songwei, an employee for a shopping street management company, and Guo Sixi, the manager of Yalong Real Estate Company, said the city's procuratorate.

He is also accused of embezzling another 120,000 yuan of public money, accepting 70,000 yuan in bribes, and offering 330,000 yuan to other officials, the procuratorate said.

Zhai has taken advantage of his post by granting affordable housing projects to a company controlled by him, according to the indictment.

Zhai's case was exposed in December 2012 after a tip-off from a member of the public.

He was found to have used multiple identities to purchase 31 houses, which has angered many people who cannot afford a house in big cities.

The final verdict will be announced at another date.

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