A former official at China's top anti-corruption department has been charged with bribery. Former senior inspector for the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Dong Hong, was found guilty of received bribes worth more than $71 million during his tenure.
Dong worked at the agency, which is under the Chinese Communist Party, up until 2018 as the deputy leader of the central inspection team. He was charged with accepting bribery Thursday at a trial in the People's Court of Qingdao.
The trial drew the public's attention as Dong worked as the former aide to Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan and Communist Party leader, Bo Yibo.
Prosecutors claimed that Dong had been receiving bribes since 1999. They said his corruption continued when he joined the anti-corruption watchdog and was appointed positions on the Hainan provincial Party committee and the party's Central Literature Office.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, Dong had confessed to his crimes. He also expressed repentance at what he had done. CCTV said 20 people had attended the trial, including members of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Chinese legal experts said Dong could receive a suspended death sentence or life imprisonment. It is unlikely for him to get the death sentence given that the amount of bribes he received was lower than the bribes received by former Huarong chairman, Lai Xiaomin, who was sentenced to death. Lai, the head of China's largest state-owned asset management company, was found guilty of receiving bribes of more than $277 million.
Experts said Dong's case is similar to the bribery case of Xing Yun, the former Inner Mongolia head of public security. Xing also received a suspended death sentence.
Dong was arrested by authorities in October last year over accusations of "serious violations" of the law. He was also accused of abandoning his "ideals and convictions" by breaking "party rules." Prosecutors alleged that Dong used his ill-gotten wealth to fund his extravagant lifestyle, which included frequent "private club" visits.
Prior to his sentencing in April, Dong has been stripped of his Communist Party Membership. All of his assets will be seized and his retirement benefits taken away.