Ling Baoheng, Shanghai's former chief watchdog of state-owned assets, has become the second official to stand trial for alleged involvement in the Shanghai pension fund scandal, as hearing of his case began Thursday.
Ling is charged with taking bribes totaling 500,000 yuan (65,789 U.S. dollars) when he served as deputy director of the Shanghai Economic Committee, vice president of Shanghai Light Industry Holding Company (Group), and director of the Shanghai Municipal State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
Ling's lawyer, who declined to be identified, said Ling pleaded guilty to the charges at the Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court, but appealed for leniency in sentencing.
The court on June 14 heard the case of Wang Guoxiong, former general manager of Shanghai Industrial Investment Group, who was charged with taking bribes. Wang was the first official to be tried in connection with the scandal.
Shanghai's social security fund scandal was exposed to the public last year. It involved 3.7 billion yuan (474 million U.S. dollars), most of which was misappropriated to invest in real estate, road and other projects.
Former Shanghai Party chief Chen Liangyu was sacked last year from his post for his involvement in the scandal. Thirteen officials have been expelled from the Party in connection with the scandal.
Other people involved included Wu Hongmei, former deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission; Yin Guoyuan, former deputy director of Shanghai Housing, Land and Resources Administration; and Zhou Zhengyi, former chairman of Shanghai Nongkai Development Group.
They are expected to appear in court in the near future.