28Chinese Court Sentences Ex-Top Communist Official to Life Term for Graft

Audrey Hill
May 9, 2018

The First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin convicted Sun Zhengcai of taking more than 170 million yuan ($27m) in bribes directly or through third parties.

At a party meeting past year, a senior official stated that Sun and other senior figures prosecuted in Xi's anti-corruption crackdown were "conspiring openly to usurp party leadership". Sun pleaded guilty after a one-day trial in April. In February, the Communist Party announced plans to amend China's constitution to remove term limits for the president, leading many to conclude that Xi intends to rule for life.

He was accused of taking advantage of his position to seek profits for himself and others.

The large amount of illegally accepted money could have had Sun sentenced to death.

Sun, a former Communist party chief of the sprawling Chongqing municipality, told a court in northern China Tuesday that he will accept the ruling and would not appeal it, according to state media.

A court in China's Tianjin port city has given a life sentence to Sun Zhengcai, a former member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, for corruption.

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Sun said he admits his crimes and is sincerely repentant.

Sun had been expelled from the party and dismissed from public office in September because he was suspected of "serious discipline violations", a phrase that usually refers to bribery but increasingly also includes political disloyalty.

Recall that Sun, 54, was abruptly removed in July from his post as party chief of Chongqing, one of China's most important cities and was replaced by Chen Miner, who is close to Xi. He was also deprived of his political rights for life.

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".

Xi has presided over a popular anti-graft drive since coming to power in 2012 that has punished more than 1 million officials.

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

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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