BEIJING:China handed over suspended death sentences to two ex-ministers and life sentences to four other top officials allegedly part of a “political clique” this week for corruption and abuse of power as the anti-graft campaign of President Xi Jinping is on the roll ahead of the 20th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party.
China’s former vice minister of Public Security, Sun Lijun, who was accused of leading a “political clique” and being disloyal to President Xi Jinping, was given a suspended death sentence on Friday for taking bribes, manipulating the stock market, and illegally possessing firearms. Chinese state news agency reported that Sun, 53 was also deprived of his political rights for life, and all his personal assets were confiscated, as stated by a Changchun court in northeast China’s Jilin Province.
Local media said Sun’s sentencing came after five former police chiefs who were implicated in his corruption case were jailed earlier this week, indicating that the biggest purge in China’s security apparatus over the last five years is on the roll. The purge comes ahead of a major leadership reshuffle at the twice-a-decade Communist Party congress that begins on October 16, where President Xi is expected to secure a precedent-breaking third term in power becoming the only leader in People’s Republic of China after Mao Zedong.
His sentence could be commuted to life in prison without parole after two years. The court established that Sun received money and valuables totaling more than 646 million yuan (92.39 million USD) by taking advantage of various positions he held between 2001 and April 2020.
This week the courts sentenced five other alleged members of Sun’s clique for corruption.
On Thursday former justice minister Fu Zhenghua, 67, and Wang Like, 57, who was in charge of political and legal affairs in eastern Jiangsu province, were both given suspended death sentences by the same court that sentenced Sun. As with Sun’s sentence, these could be commuted to life without parole after two years. Sun Lijuan and Fu Zhenghua were once regarded as rising stars in the ruling Communist Party of China.
On Wednesday, three former police chiefs were jailed by different courts in Hebei province. Gong Daoan, the former Shanghai police chief, was jailed for life; Deng Huilin, who held the same role in Chongqing, was given 15 years; and Liu Xinyun, formerly Shanxi’s top policeman, was sentenced to 14 years.