A senior work safety official in northwest China stood trial today on charges of accepting bribes and holding a huge amount of property with unidentified sources.
The trial of Yang Dacai, former head of the Shaanxi provincial work safety administration, started at 9:30 am at Xi'an City Intermediate People's Court.
Yang is accused of possessing family property of 11.77 million yuan (US$1.9 million). He cannot identify where 5.04 million yuan of the property came from.
The prosecution argues that Yang's family deposits are far more than his income as a public servant.
Yang was photographed smiling after a traffic accident that left 36 people dead on Aug. 26 last year. His expression was seen as unsympathetic.
Photographs soon surfaced on the Internet of Yang wearing luxury wristwatches, earning him the nickname "Brother Watch."
Although Yang claimed he purchased the watches with his own salary, netizens argued the public servant could not afford such expensive items.
After an initial investigation, Yang was dismissed from his position as a member of the Shaanxi Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), as well as head and CPC chief of the provincial work safety administration, in September 2012.
He was expelled from the CPC and his case was transferred to judicial authorities in February, according to Shaanxi provincial disciplinary authorities.
The disciplinary authorities then said Yang was engaged in serious disciplinary violations and suspected of committing crimes during his tenure.
The trial continues.