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AFP
September 23, 2020

The big fish caught in Xi’s anti-graft net

National

AFP
September 23, 2020

BEIJING: The former head of Interpol, an ex-spy chief and a Xinjiang governor accused of "trading power for sex" are just some of the high-profile officials to suffer spectacular falls from grace in President Xi Jinping´s purge of the Chinese Communist Party´s upper echelons.

High-flyer Bo Xilai Son of a high-ranking revolutionary general and a political high-flyer tipped for the top job, Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in jail for bribery in 2013, amid a murder scandal involving his wife and the death of a British businessman.

Bo was stripped of his position and convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, and his wife was handed a death sentence for murder -- later commuted to life imprisonment.

Security chief Zhou Yongkang Former spy chief Zhou Yongkang was convicted of a series of corruption charges -- including bribery, abuse of power and leaking state secrets -- and jailed for life in 2015.

Until his fall from grace, Zhou, 78 -- who started off as an oil field technician -- was one of the nine most senior politicians in China.

Interpol chief Meng Hongwei Then Interpol chief Meng Hongwei was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for bribery in January, in a case that shook the international police organisation. He vanished during a 2018 visit to China from France, where he was based as the body´s first Chinese president, and later pleaded guilty to accepting $2.1 million in bribes.

During his tenure as deputy chief of the public security bureau, the agency arrested and interrogated a number of prominent Chinese dissidents -- including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who later died of cancer while in police custody.

Xinjiang chief Nur Bekri One of China´s highest-ranking Uighur officials and the former head of the troubled northwest Xinjiang region, Nur Bekri was jailed for life last December. He pleaded guilty to accepting 79 million yuan ($11.6 million) in bribes over the course of two decades and "trading power for sex", according to a court in northeast China. Bekri´s tenure in the region was marred by violence, including bloody anti-Chinese riots in 2009 that left nearly 200 dead.

´Big Cannon´ Ren Zhiqiang Property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang -- once among the Communist Party´s inner circle -- has been jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and stealing public funds, a Beijing court said Ren embezzled money and accepted bribes while chairman of a state-owned property developer.