China’s former justice minister jailed for life

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China’s former justice minister, Fu Zhenghua, has been sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for accepting bribes, state media said on Thursday. 

Fu’s death sentence will be commuted to a life imprisonment after two years, with no possibility of parole, state media added.

Sixty-seven-year-old Fu — who led several high-profile probes and crackdowns into corruption — admitted to taking bribes exceeding 117 million yuan (€16.5 million, 16.3 million).

He pleaded guilty to abusing his power while serving in various government roles, including chief of police for the capital, Beijing, from 2005-21. According to state television, the ex-minister was attempting to hide crimes committed by his brother and other associates.

Xi’s anti-corruption campaign

The verdict comes amid a stepped-up purge of officials ahead of a crucial Communist Party congress where President Xi Jinping is widely expected to secure a third term as the country’s leader. 

A long-running anti-corruption crusade has been in place since Xi became the Communist Party’s secretary general in 2012. 

On Wednesday, three ex-chiefs of police of Shanghai, Chongqing and Shanxi province were also sentenced to years of prison time — including one for life — for corruption.

dvv/es (AP, Reuters)

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