Ling Jihua, newly elected vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), pauses while attending the opening ceremony of the CPPCC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

(From Reuters)

China’s state prosecutor on Friday formally charged a former senior aide to retired president Hu Jintao with taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power.

Ling Jihua

The ruling Communist Party announced an investigation into Ling Jihua in December 2014. He had been demoted in September, 2012 from a ministerial-level job months after his son was killed in a crash involving a luxury sports car.

The charges are the latest development in a case that the party has said did major damage to its image.

Ling used his many high-ranking positions in government as a way to solicit bribes, seek favors for friends and illegally obtain state secrets, the prosecutor said, without specifying the nature of the secrets.

The circumstances were “extremely serious”, the prosecutor added in a terse statement, which was also read out on state television. Read More

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