China hands ex-political high-flyer life sentence for graft

08/05 06:28Chinese Court Sentences Ex-Top Communist Official to Life Term for Graft - Media

The First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin Municipality today sentenced him to life in prison for taking bribes of over 170 million yuan (USD 26.7 million), state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

At a party meeting past year, a senior official stated that Sun and other senior figures prosecuted in Xi's anti-corruption crackdown were "conspiring openly to usurp party leadership".

Sun pleaded guilty at an open court hearing held on April 12th. Sun was seen by some as a candidate for leading the party in 2022.

Sun Zhengcai, former member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and former Secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee, was sentenced[press release] to life in prison on Tuesday for taking bribes.

The court heard that between 2002 and a year ago, Sun had taken advantage of his position to seek profits for others and illegally accepted money, according to previous court statements.

Sun said he admits his crimes and is sincerely repentant.

Recall that Sun, 54, was abruptly removed in July from his post as party chief of Chongqing, one of China's most important cities and was replaced by Chen Miner, who is close to Xi. Bo, who is serving a life sentence for corruption and abuse of power, was the Chongqing party chief and a potential rival to Xi, who had not yet taken power.




In addition to being imprisoned, Sun was deprived of political rights for life and all of his personal property was confiscated.

In September, the Politburo of the Central Committee chose to exclude Sun from the ranks of the party citing "violation of the party discipline".

During the conference, Sun, and a former party boss in Chongqing, Bo Xilai, were accused of being part of a plot to usurp the power of the Communist Party.

He has punished over a million officials after assuming office.

In March, China's parliament scrapped presidential term limits, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely over the world's most populous country.

At the congressional gathering last October, Xi Jinping Thought was formally enshrined in China's constitution, making his political views and positions unassailable within the Party.

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