[JURIST] China's [JURIST news archive] former minister of land and natural resources, Tian Fengshan [profile], was charged Monday with accepting bribes of nearly 5 million yuan, or $619,000. Tian has been in custody since 2004 when he was removed from office after the former director of a provincial environmental protection bureau, Wang Shenyi, exposed the corruption. Wang has also been charged with corruption and was sentenced in July to 15 years in prison. Another government official, Ma De, former secretary of the municipal committee of the Communist Party of China in Suihua City, was sentenced to death in July for accepting bribes [China Daily report]. China's recent boom in commercial and residential development has led to an increase in private developers bribing government officials for favorable treatment. Tian is expected to face trial in early 2006 in the Beijing Number Two Intermediate People's Court. Reuters has more.