Beijing: Two senior Chinese politicians, believed to be close associates of disgraced former security czar Zhou Yongkang, were today indicted on corruption charges and abuse of power, as part of China’s spreading crackdown on corruption.

Jiang Jiemin, former head of state-owned regulator Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, and top provincial Communist Party of China (CPC) official Li Chuncheng were both accused of accepting bribes and abuse of power, China’s top prosecutor said.

The Chinese Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said it has completed the probe into Jiang’s case and filed charges with the Hanjiang Intermediate People’s Court today.

Prosecutors accuse Jiang of taking bribes, abuse of power and owning property that he could not possibly have afforded on his legitimate earnings, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

They believe Jiang took advantage of his posts to seek profit for others, taking a huge amount in bribes, when he headed the country’s biggest energy company China National Petroleum Corporation and worked with PetroChina Company Limited.

Jiang’s actions caused major losses to state assets, an SPP statement said without providing any details on how the prosecution will progress.

Zhou previously held the top post at China National Petroleum Corporation. In December he was arrested, ousted from the CPC and placed under a judicial probe on charges including bribe-taking and “leaking state secrets”. 

The trials will pave the way for a court appearance by Zhou, the most senior official to fall in an anti-corruption crackdown spearheaded under President Xi Jinping’s regime.

While Li, vice chief of Sichuan Provincial CPC, was prosecuted for accepting bribes and abuse of power, the SPP said.

The SPP has concluded investigation into Li’s case too and filed charges with Xianning Intermediate People’s Court today.

Prosecutors believe Li, also seen as a close associate of Zhou, took advantage of his position to seek profit for others, accepted huge amounts of money and abused his power, resulting in substantial state losses.

The anti-corruption campaign was stepped up after Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. 

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