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China's 'bulldozer' mayor kicked out of party, handed to prosecutors

By Katie Hunt, CNN
January 31, 2014 -- Updated 0443 GMT (1243 HKT)
Old Nanjing neighborhood seen from above. The former mayor was said to have a penchant for demolition projects
Old Nanjing neighborhood seen from above. The former mayor was said to have a penchant for demolition projects
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • China's ruling Communist Party expels former mayor of Nanjing for bribery, abuse of power
  • Ji Jianye, known as "mayor bulldozer," described as "morally corrupt"
  • He is latest high-profile target of Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive
  • His case has now been transferred to prosecutors

Hong Kong (CNN) -- China's ruling Communist Party has expelled the former mayor of Nanjing for bribery and abuse of power, describing him as "morally corrupt."

State news agency Xinhua said on Thursday that an investigation into Ji Jianye's alleged transgressions found he took advantage of his position to seek benefits for others and accepted a huge amount of money and gifts personally or through family members.

The decision was made by the Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which said that Ji's case would now be handled by China's judicial system.

Ji Jianye
Ji Jianye

Expulsion from the ruling party typically precedes criminal charges.

Ji, who was removed from his post in October, was known, according to local media, as "mayor bulldozer" for his fondness for demolition and reconstruction projects across the city -- home to eight million and a former capital.

President Xi Jinping has embarked on an anti-corruption drive since taking office in March 2013, pledging to target both "flies and tigers" -- both low- and high-ranking officials, sparing no one regardless of their position.

According to state media, some 108,000 officials were disciplined in the first nine months of 2013 and almost 20 minister-level senior officials have fallen from grace since late 2012.

READ: Xi Jinping: An identity crisis?

READ: In China, 'everyone is guilty of corruption'

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