Ex-Top Chinese Leader Convicted For Corruption Charges

Ex-Top Chinese Leader Convicted For Corruption Charges

The First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin [official website] found Sun guilty of using his position to help certain individuals and organizations with business operations accepting bribes that totaled 170 million yuan or about $26.7 million.

Beijing, May 8 A former top Chinese Communist Party official, who was accused of plotting a coup against President Xi Jinping a year ago, was today sentenced to life imprisonment for taking United States dollars 26.7 million in bribes.

Mr Sun's fate was never in doubt as the party controls the courts and a guilty charge nearly always results in conviction. Sun Zhengcai was once tipped as a possible leader of the generation to succeed President Xi Jinping.

The court said Sun took advantage of his position to seek profits for others, including helping others to win project tenders, secure government approvals on projects and gain promotions.

Sun was given a "lenient" sentence in exchange for his cooperation, the court in the northern port city of Tianjin said on Tuesday.

Sun said he admits his crimes and is sincerely repentant.

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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. Sun was sent to Chongqing to fill the void left by Bo, but he failed to wipe out his predecessor's "lingering pernicious influence", Communist Party of China investigators determined.

In July, Sun was abruptly removed from his post as the ruling Communist Party's chief of the southwestern city of Chongqing and was replaced by Chen Miner, a protege of current President Xi Jinping.

During last year's National Congress, Xi vowed to continue his anti-corruption campaign, claiming "he fight against corruption has formed an overwhelming posture and strengthened in development".

However, critics have claimed Xi has used the crusade as a way to sideline political opponents and consolidate his power over the country.

Xi has been promoting a massive anti-corruption campaign since he came to the office in 2012.

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