A Former Top Chinese Official Gets Life Term for Corruption

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

Authorities intend to confiscate Sun's personal property and retrieve his "illegal gains and relevant yields", the official Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday, citing a verdict from Tianjin No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

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. Sun was seen by some as a candidate for leading the party in 2022.

Sun Zhengcai. appears in court in Tianjin. He was also deprived of his political rights for life.

Chinese state media reported that his expressions of regret made him eligible for a more lenient sentence, which suggests he may have been facing the death penalty.

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According to the prosecution, Sun had committed those crimes in the years between 2002 and 2017 during his time as a district party chief in Beijing, Minister of Agriculture, Political Bureau member of the CPC Central Committee and Party chief in north-eastern Jilin province and megacity Chongqing.

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.

Sun Zhengcai (R) walks behind Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) as they attending the fifth plenary meeting of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People on March 15, 2013 in Beijing, China.

He pleaded guilty to the charges during a one-day trial in April. However, his actions had "gravely damaged the normal work order of national organisations and harmed the integrity of conduct by national employees".

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One of the most powerful men in all of China presently, Jinping rose to fame due to his anti-corruption stance.

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

It has not been possible to reach Sun for comment, and it is unclear whether he has a lawyer.

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