BEIJING – The former head of a Chinese state-owned enterprise who fled to Japan three years ago after coming under suspicion of embezzling public funds has been extradited to China, government-run media reported Saturday.
It is the first time Japan has handed a Chinese national suspected of corruption back to China, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the anticorruption bureau of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
The report said Yuan Tongshun, former general manager of a state-owned enterprise in Dalian, a coastal city in Liaoning Province, is suspected of embezzling a large amount of public money from September 2003 to March 2004 before fleeing to Japan with his wife.
The bureau did not reveal the sum of the money or the name of the company. But Japanese media reports had said Yuan, in his early 40s, is suspected of misappropriating 1 million yuan, or 15 million yen, from a Liaoning government-funded trading company.
After learning of Yuan’s escape, China issued a warrant for his arrest through Interpol. Japanese prosecutors detained him in March and sought a judicial decision over whether to extradite him.
The Tokyo High Court ruled May 8 that Yuan should be handed over to the Chinese government even though he claimed in court he is innocent and might be persecuted as a political offender once he returns home.