Chinese ex-official jailed for life for graft, power abuse

Beijing, June 11 (IANS) Zhou Yongkang, a former senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), was sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday, deprived of his political rights for life and his personal assets confiscated for accepting bribes, abusing his power and deliberately disclosing state secrets.

The Tianjin Municipal No.1 Intermediate People’s Court heard his case on May 22. Involving disclosure of state secrets, his trial was not open to the public. Zhou pleaded guilty and would not appeal, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhou was convicted of taking bribes amounting to about 130 million yuan ($21.3 million), said the court judgement.

Zhou served as deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation, secretary of the CPC Sichuan provincial committee, and member of the political bureau of the CPC Central Committee and minister of public security and state councillor.

According to the court, Zhou took advantage of his position to seek profits for five persons identified as Wu Bing, Ding Xuefeng, Wen Qingshan, Zhou Hao and Jiang Jiemin, and personally accepted money and property worth 731,100 yuan from Jiang.

Money and property worth 129 million yuan was accepted by his wife Jia Xiaoye and son Zhou Bin. Zhou was informed about the bribes.

In his final statement, Zhou accepted the charges.

“The basic facts are clear. I plead guilty and repent my wrongdoing,” he said.

“Those involved, who bribed my family, were actually coming after the power I held, and I should take the main responsibility.

“I broke the law and party rules incessantly, and the objective facts of my crimes have resulted in grave losses to the party and the nation.

“The handling of my case in accordance with party rules and the law reflects the authorities’ determination to govern the party strictly and advance the rule of law,” Zhou added.


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