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Home > Bribery
Life Sentence for Deputy Chief Justice of China

Mr. Xi, Xiaoming was a Deputy Chief Justice or Vice President (as translated otherwise) of the Supreme People's Court of China between June 2004 and July 2015.  In July 2015, he was abruptly removed from office by the Communist Party's top disciplinary body, suspected of corruption.  On February 16, 2017, he received a sentence of life imprisonment for taking bribes.


The court that passed the verdict found that Xi and his families took bribes as much as RMB 114,596,934 (approximately US$ 17 million), and one of the family members which helped obtain bribes is his lawyer son.  As a return, Xi then used his power to help the bribers win their cases.  In addition, Xi also used his connections to help a company issue IPOs.


Xi had spent the last 32 years shaping the way China’s courts run.  Until July 12, 2015, he was the fourth-highest judge in China’s court system.  He worked as a policeman in northeastern Liaoning province before graduating from law school and starting his career as an office clerk at the Supreme People’s Court.


He worked his way up from the court’s research office to become a judge, first in the Supreme People Court’s economics division and then its civil law division.  In 2004, Xi was promoted to a Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court.  In May of 2015, the court placed Xi at the head of a working group focused on overhauling General Principles of Civil Law, but in July of 2015, Xi’s career finally fell apart.


On July 12, 2015, he was being investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China for "serious violations of laws and regulations".  Xi was then expelled from the Communist Party on September 29, 2015.


However, Xi is not the first judicial official of his stature ever tried and convicted on such charges.  Actually, in 2010, Mr. Huang, Songyou, another Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court was accused of taking RMB 3.9 million (about US$ 600,000) in bribes from a law firm in return for favorable rulings on cases between 2005 and 2008.  He was also charged with embezzling RMB 1.2 million (US$180,000) in government funds while serving as president of a city-level court in southern Guangdong province in 1997.


"As a chief justice, Huang knowingly violated the law by trading power for money and taking a hefty sum of bribes, which has produced a bad impact on the society, and should be punished severely," the official Xinhua news agency said on Huang’s case, which is also a pertinent comment on Xi.


*The author Henry Chen, a Senior Partner of Dentons Shanghai Office, is licensed to practice law in China and the New York State of the U.S. Henry Chen is a representative of China Delegation to negotiate over ISO19600 Compliance Management System - Guidelines, and the Vice Director of the Working Committee on China national standard Compliance Management System.  Henry Chen is the author of the book Commercial Bribery Risk Management in China. If you have any questions about this report, please do not hesitate to contact henry.chen@dentons.cn.


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