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

Former Chinese rising star Sun Zhengcai sentenced to life in prison for graftMore

Former Chinese rising star Sun Zhengcai sentenced to life in prison for graftMore

A Chinese court has sentenced Sun Zhengcai, the former Communist Party boss of the southwestern city of Chongqing who was once seen as a rising political star, to life in prison for corruption.

The former Communist Party Secretary was convicted of illegally accepting more than 170 million yuan (US $ 26.7 million) in bribes, according to the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin.

Announcing the verdict, the court also deprived him of his political rights for life and all his personal property was confiscated.

Sun as saying he wouldn't appeal the sentence.

Despite Sun's conviction on criminal charges, Chinese leaders and party-run media have made it clear that Sun's offenses were largely political in nature.

Sun and his alleged associates were accused of accepting the money and assets in return for providing help to unspecified organisations and individuals, business operations and other matters, the court said.

Sun was a member of the Communist Party's key decision-making body, the Politburo, but was expelled from the party in September, before being handed over to prosecutors.

Beijing, May 8 A former top Chinese Communist Party official, who was accused of plotting a coup against President Xi Jinping past year, was today sentenced to life imprisonment for taking United States dollars 26.7 million in bribes.

Sun's case mirrors the downfall of another former Chongqing chief, Bo Xilai, whose arrest shook the previous party shuffle in 2012.

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

Other high-profile figures to fall in Xi's campaign include, Zhou Yongkang, a retired member of the party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, and Guo Boxiong, a former top general.

The National People's Congress recently expanded the campaign by creating a national supervision commission that will look beyond party officials and scrutinise millions of public servants at all levels of government.

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

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