Former high-ranking China politician gets life sentence for taking bribes

Sun Zhengcai a former Politburo member and party chief of the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing was found guilty of taking over 170 million yuan in bribes the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin says

A former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official who was once tipped as a potential successor to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) was yesterday sentenced to life in prison for bribery, the latest senior cadre to fall in Xi's sweeping anti-corruption crusade.

State-run China Central Television says hearings in a Tianjin court revealed that Sun and his associates accepted cash and goods worth about 170-million yuan, or about 27 million dollars, in exchange for favors and abusing his authority.

Sun said that he would not appeal against the sentence, the media outlet added.

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

"I sincerely admit my guilt and regret my crime".

Sun Zhengcai, the former political leader of Chongqing city, has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of taking more than US$26 million.

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




Sun was a member of the Communist Party's key decision-making body, the Politburo, but was expelled from the party in September, before being handed over to prosecutors.

Sun's case mirrors the downfall of another former Chongqing chief, Bo Xilai, whose arrest shook the previous party shuffle in 2012.

Previously big-name corrupt officials would have been retired or eased out of office, but Mr Xi has taken a more aggressive approach.

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.

Mr Xi has presided over a popular anti-graft drive since coming to power in 2012 that has punished more than one million officials.

The Chinese president said in April, though, that he is opposed to life-long rule, arguing that the move to amend the constitution was definitely misinterpreted by foreign observers.

Xi's critics allege that he has used the campaign against his political rivals.

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