Chinese ex-security official jailed for life ahead of key Communist Party gathering

The 53-year-old Sun, who was accused of leading a “political cabal” in China’s security system, was sentenced by a court in northeast China to a suspended two-year suspended death sentence, which will be commuted to life imprisonment without charge. possibility of parole, according to the state-owned Xinhua News Agency.

Sun was found guilty of taking bribes in the amount of RMB 646 million (approximately $90.44 million) in his various official capacities from 2001 to 2020, Xinhua reported, adding that he “manipulated stock prices and trading volumes” through which losses of RMB 145 million were prevented. He was also convicted of his illegal possession of two firearms.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s anti-transplant watchdog, launched an investigation into Sun in April 2020 and expelled him from the Communist Party in September 2020. He was charged with corruption and “husking hugely inflated political ambitions”.

In January, China’s Ministry of Public Security held a stern meeting to denounce the “damaging influence” of Sun’s “political clique”, which the ministry said had “seriously damaged the party’s unity” and its political security. seriously undermined.

Other members identified as part of the “political cabal” were also given long prison terms this week.

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Fu Zhenghua, the former Chinese justice minister and deputy police chief, was convicted on Thursday in the same court as Sun for taking bribes. Fu’s dramatic demise has made headlines in China, where he was once seen as a rising star and loyal ally to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

In 2013, Xi Fu, as head of a bribery investigation into Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security czar and retired member of the Politburo Standing Committee, appointed the pinnacle of power in the Communist Party. Zhou was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for corruption and abuse of power.

This week’s statements come just weeks before the 20th party congress in October, where Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third term as China’s top leader.

Sun and Fu are among a number of high-profile officials who have been prosecuted in the wake of a sweeping crackdown on corruption and disloyalty in China’s internal security forces, which critics say has also been used to purge Xi’s political rivals.

As of 2020, officials of China’s internal security apparatus were urged to “turn the knife in and scrape the poison off the bone”, and to expose “two faces” who are disloyal and unfair to the party.

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In an interview last year, Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing, told CNN that the series of purges betray the Chinese leadership’s fragile trust in the country’s internal security services.

“It is very difficult for Beijing to have political confidence. This is the biggest crisis in its governance,” he said.​

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