China’s former police chief jailed for life on corruption charges

A Chinese court on Friday announced a suspended death sentence for a former police chief for taking 93 million euros in bribes, following a series of corruption convictions this week.

San Lijun, 53, a former vice minister of public health, has been regularly accused of disloyalty to President Xi Jinping and has been named in several cases, but has pleaded not guilty.

The People’s Court in Shangchun, capital of northeastern Jilin province, said that after spending two years in detention, his sentence would be reduced to life in prison.

And he reported that Saint-Legion “exploited” the multiple positions he held between 2001 and 2020 to “help” people and companies obtain benefits, promotions and positions in exchange for payment of money.

He received bribes, either directly or through his associates, totaling 646 million yuan (93 million euros).

The court stressed that these actions “are of a special degree of danger” and “caused considerable losses to the country and the people”, ordering the confiscation of all their personal property.

He claimed that his crimes “deserve the death penalty”, but since the accused admitted his guilt, cooperated with the investigation and provided “convincing evidence in other important cases”, he was exempt from execution, but could not benefit from “any reduction”. of sentence (prison) or parole”.

San Lejeune also oversaw security in Hong Kong during the pro-democracy protests that rocked the semi-autonomous city in 2019. He was arrested in April 2020.

China enters a delicate stage less than three weeks before the Chinese Communist Party congress, which takes place every five years and begins on October 16, during which the party will renew the ruling team.

However, Xi Jinping is expected to retain his post at the head of the Communist Party for an unprecedented third term, reflecting the extent of influence he has gained from the impact of his anti-corruption campaign, which is currently intensifying with a series of harsh sentences.