China. Former Minister of Justice and former Deputy Minister of Public Security sentenced to death

China’s former deputy public security minister, Sun Lijun, has been sentenced to death for accepting bribes, stock market manipulation and illegal possession of weapons, state media reported on Friday. The day before, it was reported that the same sentence was heard by former Chinese Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua.

The execution of both former members of the government was suspended for two years, after which the sentence may be converted into life imprisonment without parole.

Sun Lijun was deputy minister of public safety for more than two years, from March 2018 to May 2020. He was accused of promising benefits to individuals and legal entities in the form of business favors, government jobs and promotions in return for money by using his position. The value of the accepted bribes amounted to over 640 million yuan (the equivalent of about $ 90 million), according to the prosecutors.

Sun LijunFeature China / Future Publishing via Getty Images

Another official sentenced to death

This is the second death sentence imposed on a senior Chinese official in recent days – it was reported on Thursday that former Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua, who was responsible for several important anti-corruption investigations, was sentenced to a similar sentence.

Fu Zhenghua became the minister of justice in 2018. Previously, he was deputy minister of public safety and led a number of important anti-corruption investigations, including an investigation against former minister Zhou Yongkang – the tallest Chinese official to date convicted of corruption, Reuters reported.

Fu ZhenghuaFuat Kabakci / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

During a trial in the north China in the city of Changchun, Fu pleaded guilty to accepting bribes worth over 117 million yuan (over PLN 80 million). In return for the received money and real estate, the convicted person was to protect the criminal activities of his brother and other people.

Fu was also accused of being a member of Sun Lijun’s “political gang”. The CCP described the influence of this official in the party as “poisonous” and the Sun himself as a “cancer” that should be eliminated, reports the Reuters agency.

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign

Former members of the Chinese government have thus joined a ranks of senior officials punished in the anti-corruption campaign led by Chinese leader Xi Jinping since his assumption of power in 2012. According to critics, Xi thus gets rid of political opponents and strengthens his power over the party apparatus.

Xi JinpingSERGEI BOBYLEV / PAP / EPA

The purges among officials intensified ahead of the key five-year congress of the Communist Party of China (CCP) scheduled for October, Reuters said.

Author:pp, momo // kab, now

Main photo source: Feature China / Future Publishing via Getty Images

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