Crime & Justice

China’s former top security official gets suspended death sentence for graft

Beijing, Sep 23 (EFE).- A Chinese court on Friday sentenced former deputy public security minister Sun Lijun to death for taking bribes worth more than $90 million, said the state-run media.

The death sentence awarded by the court in Changchun in northern Jilin province carries a two-year reprieve.

Suspended death sentences are common in China in cases of corruption.

If death row inmates do not commit more crimes and behave appropriately during reprieve, the authorities can commute their sentences to life in prison.

The official Global Times reported that the authorities stripped Sun of his political rights and confiscated all his personal property.

After the expiration of the two-year reprieve, his sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment, with no possibility of commutation or parole, according to the court ruling.

Sun got eight years for “manipulating the stock market” and a 1 million yuan fine.

He got a further five years for possessing illegal firearms.

The Communist party expelled the former deputy minister on Oct.1 to facilitate his trial for “serious violations of the law.”

The Global Times reported that from 2001 to 2020, Sun used his influence to seek gains for others and illegally accepted money and property worth 646 million yuan.

In 2018, he allegedly manipulated stock market dealings, helping some people to avoid losses.

Sun was one of the leaders of the first task forces sent by the government to Wuhan to fight the Covid-19 outbreak in February 2020.

In September 2021, China prosecuted other members of the Chinese security apparatus for corruption.

They included the former police chief of Chongqing city, Deng Huilin, and the former Shanghai police chief.

Sun’s conviction comes a day after China Thursday sentenced former justice minister Fu Zhengua to death with a two-year reprieve for alleged corruption and abuse of power.

Following his coming to power in 2012, President Xi Jinping began an anti-corruption campaign in which the party convicted several senior Chinese officials for accepting bribes.

The campaign has led to the punishment of more than 1.5 million officials.

But critics allege that Xi, eying an unprecedented third term in office, could use the anti-graft drive to end the political careers of some of his rivals. EFE


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