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Brother of disgraced former Chinese presidential aide to face corruption charges

The elder brother of a disgraced one-time aide to a former Chinese president will be formally prosecuted for graft, Chinese authorities announced on Sunday.

Ling Zhengce, 64, former vice-chairman of the Shanxi People’s Political Consultative Conference, had been handed over to prosecutors in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, state-run Xinhua reported.

Ling allegedly abused his position in the consultative body and as head of Shanxi’s top planning body to procure benefits for other people.

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He also allegedly used his status to secure benefits from other officials, Xinhua reported.

“Ling should be held criminal responsibility … in accordance with the law,” the report said.

Prosecutors will also pursue graft-related charges against Chen Chuanping, a former member of the Communist Party’s standing committee in Shanxi, and Sun Hongzhi, former deputy director of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, Xinhua reported.

Ling is the brother of Ling Jihua, former right-hand man of ex-president Hu Jintao.

Ling Jihua, 59, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year for taking more than 77 million yuan in bribes.

Ling Jihua, former Chinese presidential aide, sentenced to life in prison

The reports of the trial in the Tianjin No 1 Intermediate People’s Court in June detailed the former political rising star’s illicit dealings with high-profile businessmen and a former top aide of Zhou Yongkang, once the country’s security tsar and now behind bars.

As Hu’s chief of staff, Ling Jihua had access to many of the country’s top secrets and political resources, making his influence greater than his official ranking.

Ling Zhengce was expelled from the party for alleged graft in August 2015.

The Ling family was allegedly the core of the “Shanxi gang”, a name given by state media to describe a faction of the party formed by cadres with links to the resources-rich province.

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Seven provincial-level cadres and dozens of lower-level officials from Shanxi have been detained in corruption investigations.

The youngest brother of Ling Zhengce, Ling Wancheng, is a businessman and a fugitive in the United States.

President Xi Jinping launched a massive anti-corruption campaign after coming to power, leading to the downfall of various top officials.