Zhou Yongkang jailed for life after secret trial

Zhou Yongkang, China's former domestic security chief, attends his sentence hearing in a court in Tianjin, China, in this still image taken from video provided by China Central Television on June 11, 2015.

Former Chinese security chief Zhou Yongkang, the highest ranking ex-official under investigation for corruption in decades, was sentenced to life in prison at a secret trial, Xinhua reported on June 11.

Zhou was sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of his political rights for life and his personal assets confiscated, for accepting bribes, abusing power and deliberately disclosing state secrets, the Tianjin Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court ruled.

Zhou was convicted of taking bribe of about 130 million yuan (21.3 million US dollars), said the court judgement. Zhou pled guilty and will not appeal.

Zhou, 72, is a former member of the ruling Communist party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, and wielded vast power as head of the police and courts until his retirement in 2012.

He is the most senior Chinese official to be ensnared in a graft scandal since 1949. The decision to try Zhou underscores President Xi Jinping's pledge to fight corruption at the highest levels.

As well as hearing testimony from his wife and son, CNPC's former head Jiang Jiemin also testified. Jiang, a former close associate of Zhou, went on trial in April accused of corruption, but has yet to be sentenced.

State television showed a white-haired Zhou, who had not been seen in public since October 2013, admitting his guilt.

In his final statement reported by Xinhua, Zhou accepted the charges. "The basic facts are clear. I plead guilty and repent my wrongdoing," he said.
"Those involved, who bribed my family, were actually coming after the power I held, and I should take the main responsibility.
"I broke the law and Party rules incessantly, and the objective facts of my crimes have resulted in grave losses of the Party and the nation.
"The handling of my case in accordance with Party rules and the law reflects the authorities' determination to govern the Party strictly and advance the rule of law," Zhou added.



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