China: Former political star Sun Zhengcai sentenced to life

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

The court on Tuesday said Sun should have been a role model, but instead ignored the law and destroyed normal order in duties at the government organizations.

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.

A former top Chinese Communist Party official, who was accused of plotting a coup against President Xi Jinping a year ago, was today sentenced to life imprisonment for taking Dollars 26.7 million in bribes.

The former party chief of Chongqing City and ex-Politburo member stood trial for accepting bribes. Sun was sent to Chongqing to fill the void left by Bo, but he failed to wipe out his predecessor's "lingering pernicious influence", Communist Party of China investigators determined.

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Sun, 54, was a former member of the ruling Communist Party's Politburo, China's top decision-making body and considered a future leader at the time of his downfall.

He was also the most senior serving politician snared by Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign in 2017.

Court documents show that Sun had taken advantage of his various posts to seek profits of up to 170m yuan (US$26.7m) between 2002 and 2017, China News Service reports.

"I sincerely confess to and regret the crimes I committed". Sun was seen by some as a candidate for leading the party in 2022.

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Since Mr Xi came to power in 2012 he has made tracking down corrupt elite "tigers" and "flies" at the grassroots level a cornerstone of his administration and hundreds of thousands of officials have been punished as part of the campaign.

Xi in March saw through a constitutional amendment removing term limits on the presidency, setting himself up to remain head of state indefinitely.

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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