Former Chinese Minister of Justice sentenced to death for accepting bribes worth over $16 million

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China’s ex-minister of Justice Fu Zhenghua, who was accused for taking bribes up to the tune of over 117 million yuan ($16.5 million) and bending the law for personal gains, has been given a suspended death sentence that will be commuted to life imprisonment after two years, with no possibility of parole, according to a court ruling issued on Thursday, 22nd September, 2022.

According to the state media, the 67 year old Fu, was deprived of his political rights for life, with all his personal property confiscated.

It was also reported that from 2005 to 2021, Fu took advantage of his positions, including the positions as head of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, vice minister of public security, minister of justice and deputy head of the Committee on Social and Legal Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, to provide convenience to some institutes and individuals in company operation, position adjustment and handling of cases, through which Fu took bribes worth more than 117 million yuan ($16.5 million) either directly or through relatives.

After a career where he worked his way up from being a policeman to the deputy head of China’s Ministry of Public Security, Fu served as China’s Justice Minister from March 2018 to April 2020, before assuming the position of deputy head at the Committee on Social and Legal Affairs of the National Committee of the CPPCC. He had even led several high-profile investigations into corruption in these capacities.

From 2014 to 2015, Fu concealed evidence involving suspected serious crime by his brother Fu Weihua, when he served as head of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. This concealment allowed Fu Weihua to avoid prosecution for a long time, according to the court.

The sum of bribes Fu had taken was huge, and he committed particularly serious crimes, which caused a heavy loss to the interests of the state and people and also had particularly bad social impact, said the court.

However, he was handed the death sentence with reprieve because he had confessed to all his crimes and pled guilty during the investigation, provided clues for important cases and had been cooperative in returning his illegal gains, according to the court.

Wang Like, another official and a former member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Jiangsu provincial committee and former head of the commission for political and legal affairs of the CPC Jiangsu provincial committee, was also sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for taking and offering bribes, sheltering and conniving with mafia-like organizations, and forging identity documents, according to the Intermediate People’s Court of Changchun.

Wang took advantage of his various positions to facilitate others in business operations, securing loans, job transfers, legal cases, and other matters. In return, he illegally accepted money and gifts worth 440 million yuan ($63.04 million).

Wang was also found to have offered bribes worth over 97.31 million yuan to other people, including former vice minister of public security Sun Lijun, among the criminal charges brought against Wang.

The court said after the two-year reprieve for his death sentence, Wang’s sentence could be commuted to life in prison in accordance with the law, but no further reduction or parole shall be granted.

In the wake of China’s President Xi Jinping’s recent promise to take out corrupt cadres at all levels of the party whom he referred to as “tigers and flies”, several other Chinese officials have also been sentenced for taking bribes. This has sent a clear warning to other party members or business people who might be not in support of President Xi’s continued reign.

Gong Dao’an, former deputy mayor and police chief of Shanghai Municipality, was sentenced to life in prison for taking bribes. Deng Huilin, former deputy mayor of Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for taking bribes. Liu Xinyun, former vice governor of north China’s Shanxi Province, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for taking bribes and abuse of power.

Additionally, China’s state media is amplifying the idea that all of the former senior officials sentenced this week were part of a gang that traded in sex, power and money, even going as far as to make documentaries of these stories.


Source: Global Times.

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