Chinese tycoon and Xi critic jailed for 18 years for corruption

first_imgOutspoken The Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog launched an investigation into Ren in April, and the trial opened at a Beijing court on September 11 with a handful of supporters outside and a heavy police presence.One supporter told AFP they backed Ren because he “dares to speak the truth”.Ren’s essay from earlier this year, which criticized Xi, has been scrubbed from China’s internet — which regularly censors content that challenges the authorities — but was shared online outside China.”This epidemic has revealed the fact that the Party and government officials only care about protecting their own interests, and the monarch only cares about protecting their interests and core position,” Ren wrote, without naming Xi.His influential blog on the Twitter-like Weibo platform attracted millions of followers before his account was closed by authorities in 2016 after he repeatedly called for greater freedom of the press.The son of a former vice-commerce minister and a Communist Party member for decades before he was expelled in July, Ren was well connected with party elites.He wrote in his memoir that he had been friends with vice-president and former anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan since they were teenagers, when Wang was assigned by their school to mentor the younger Ren.He is also a controversial figure, particularly over his defense of China’s soaring house prices — once telling Chinese media that people who had been unwilling to invest in real estate before the boom “now deserve to be poor”. A Chinese real estate tycoon and outspoken critic of President Xi Jinping was jailed for 18 years on Tuesday for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds, a court statement said.Ren Zhiqiang — once among the ruling Communist Party’s inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer the Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon”. Beijing has stepped up its crackdown on civil society since Xi took power in 2012, tightening restrictions on freedom of speech and detaining hundreds of activists and lawyers.Tuesday’s verdict claimed that Ren also “abused his power” in his role at Huayuan Group, which caused more than 116 million yuan of losses to the state-owned holding company and more than 53 million yuan worth of property losses for the group. Tuesday’s verdict said Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan ($7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million yuan, according to a statement from the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court.It said the 69-year-old “voluntarily and truthfully confessed all his crimes”, and would not appeal the court’s decision.He was also fined 4.2 million yuan ($620,000).Rights campaigners accuse Xi and the Communist Party of using corruption charges to silence dissent. Topics :last_img read more

Brentford boss Thomas Frank speaks out on future of Arsenal and Chelsea transfer target Said Benrahma

first_imgBrentford boss Thomas Frank speaks out on future of Arsenal and Chelsea transfer target Said Benrahma Comment Metro Sport ReporterFriday 17 Jul 2020 7:26 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.9kShares Advertisement Said Benrahma’s performances have helped take Brentford to the brink of promotion to the Premier League (Picture: Getty)Brentford manager Thomas Frank admits it is only ‘natural’ a player of Said Benrahma’s ability is being linked with a move to Arsenal and Chelsea, but insists the player is happy with the Championship club. The performances of the Algeria international have played a pivotal role in the Bees’ promotion charge. With two games of the Championship season remaining, the ambitious west London club remain in with a shout of reaching the Premier League for the first time in their history following a run of eight successive victories. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has already added Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner to his forward line ahead of next season but was last week linked with a move for the former Nice winger.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘The Algerian Messi’ was earlier this week also linked with a move to Arsenal who will be on the lookout for attacking reinforcements this summer. Frank, however, insists the player remains fully focused on the task at hand ahead of this weekend’s must-win fixture at Stoke.ADVERTISEMENT‘I haven’t heard anything from my co-directors of sport,’ he said. ‘I don’t know anything and if I haven’t been told anything then I don’t think it’s true. It’s a rumour. Saïd Benrahma – that is sensational! ✨What a goal from Brentford’s star man! 🔥🎯 pic.twitter.com/pFKDe0gAMw— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) July 11, 2020 Man Utd v Chelsea: Frank Lampard press conferenceTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 8:05FullscreenMan Utd v Chelsea: Frank Lampard press conferencehttps://metro.co.uk/video/man-utd-v-chelsea-frank-lampard-press-conference-2212624/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.MORE: Arsenal target Brentford winger Said Benrahma as Chelsea open talksMORE: Brentford winger Said Benrahma ‘congratulated’ on Chelsea transferFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. ‘He’s enjoying his football at Brentford and we’ve a big aim to go for so I think it’s easy to know this isn’t true.’‘No, he is fine,’ he added when asked whether the speculation is likely to turn the head of Brentford’s prize asset. ‘It won’t affect him.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘If we’re doing well in the Championship – and you get it with any club that is doing well – players attract attention. That is natural.’Benrahma, 24, joined Brentford two seasons ago from Nice and is valued at around £35million. Advertisementlast_img read more

Amavi heading to Villa

first_img The 21-year-old, who has represented France at Under-21 level, finalised his deal with the Barclays Premier League side on Saturday. Nice said in a statement on their official website: “An agreement was reached on Saturday for the transfer of Jordan Amavi to Aston Villa (Premier League). “Jordan Amavi has not participated in the trip in Belgium on Friday to compete in the second friendly match of Aiglons. While his team-mates were on the road to Waregem, the young left-back (21) took the direction of England. “And an agreement was made on Saturday afternoon with Aston Villa for the transfer.” Nice did not confirm the length of Amavi’s contract nor the fee. Aston Villa have reached an agreement to sign left-back Jordan Amavi from Nice, the Ligue 1 club have announced.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more