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Published:August 19th, 2007 05:11 EST
China-EU Association Staff Jailed for Role in Officials' Trip Scandal

China-EU Association Staff Jailed for Role in Officials' Trip Scandal

By SOP newswire

A staff of the China-EU Association has been sentenced to one and a half years in prison with a two-year reprieve by a Chinese court for her role in the scandal in which more than 10 Chinese officials were refused entry by Finnish authority for using a forged invitation letter.

The court in Luyang district of Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, ruled Friday that Zhang, a worker with the Guangzhou office of the said association, was guilty of bribing officials on several occasions in arranging overseas trips for officials.



The ruling came a little more than a week after an official named Xu Wenai was removed from his post as vice procurator-general of Anhui Province for wasting public money.



The court said that Zhang has offered bribes totaling 84,076 yuan (US$10,806) in the form of kickbacks to Ye Bin, an official in the Anhui Procuratorate.



In return, she was entrusted to arrange three overseas trips for officials from the procuratorate, to Australia, New Zealand and Finland, between August 2005 and October 2006.



Ye has been expelled from the party and referred for prosecution.



Zhang also bribed officials from the Guangdong provincial government Department of Personnel, the Public Security Bureau of the Yunnan Province and the Public Security Bureau of Kunming City in arranging official's trips to the United States, South America and Australia, the court said.



All the cases combined, Zhang bribed civil servants with 145,876 yuan and US$4,300, which has breached the criminal law, the court heard.



The travel scandal emerged after the Anhui delegation had to return to China on Nov. 21 last year as they were refused entry to Finland for providing a fake Finish government invitation on Nov. 20, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China.



The CCDI investigation found the delegation also changed the route of business travel and added the number of destination countries.


(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2007)