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Fu Zhenghua: China's ex-justice minister jailed for corruption

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By Frances Mao

BBC News

Chinese Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua meets with Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul (not seen) ahead of signing ceremony of memorandum of understanding between two countries at the Asia Hotel in Beijing, China on November 14, 2018.Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Fu, seen here in 2018, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes

China’s former justice minister Fu Zhenghua, who spearheaded several corruption-fighting campaigns, has been jailed for bribery.

Fu pleaded guilty in July to accepting 117 million yuan ($14.7m; $16.5m) in gifts and money.

Chinese media reported he’d received a suspended death sentence to be commuted to a life sentence in two years.

His conviction comes amid a sudden crackdown on officials ahead of a key Communist Party congress next month.

China’s ruling party holds the event once every five years and this time President Xi Jinping is expected to be given a historic third term and consolidate his hold on power.

Fu’s jailing follows the sentencing of three former police chiefs this week. All four men are not only accused of corruption but also of being disloyal to Mr Xi.

They are all alleged to have been part of a corrupt political circle led by another ex-security figurehead, Sun Lijun, who is currently awaiting his sentence.

Fu was China’s justice minister from 2018 to 2020, after a career where he worked his way up from being a policeman to the deputy head of China’s Ministry of Public Security.

He led several high-profile investigations into corrupt politicians – including a probe which brought down Zhou Yongkang, one of the most powerful officials in recent years to be convicted of bribery.

In October last year, the party’s internal watchdog announced it was investigating Fu for “serious violations of discipline and national laws”.

He was dismissed from public office and then in March this year expelled from the Community Party. He was arrested a month later on the corruption charges.

Prosecutors said he took advantage of his authority to seek gains for others and himself on business contracts, official positions and even legal cases.

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