Former security chief indicted over bribery

Updated: 2015-04-04 08:42

(Xinhua and China Daily)

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Former security chief indicted over bribery
Zhou Yongkang

Former security chief Zhou Yongkang was charged on Friday with bribery, abuse of power and intentional disclosure of State secrets, authorities said, making him the most senior official prosecuted in decades and setting the stage for a trial.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate said that the indictment was brought on Friday by the Tianjin People's Procuratorate No 1 branch to the Tianjin No 1 Intermediate People's Court.

Zhou, 73, served as deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corp, secretary of the Communist Party of China Sichuan Provincial Committee, and was a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee while minister of public security and a State councilor.

In 2012, he retired after serving as a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee.

Zhou took advantage of his posts to influence others and illegally accepted a huge amount of money and property, according to the indictment.

Zhou's abuse of power resulted in grave losses of public property and damaged the interests of the country and the people. The social impact was "bad" and his acts were "particularly serious", according to the indictment.

He also intentionally disclosed State secrets, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors informed Zhou of his litigation rights, questioned him and heard the opinions of his lawyers, said the SPP's statement.

The Tianjin procuratorate brought the prosecution according to the law after the SPP completed its investigation into Zhou's case, the statement said.

The document was filed with a court in Tianjin, the SPP said, but the date for a trial was not given.

After taking office in 2013, President Xi Jinping initiated a widening drive against corruption that targeted both "tigers" and "flies", respectively referring to senior corrupt officials and low-ranking corrupt officials.

To date, more than 70 senior officials at ministerial and provincial-level or above have been placed under investigation for alleged graft, including Zhou and Ling Jihua, former minister of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, according to Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Li Wei, a lawyer from Beijing Lawyers Association, said if convicted of illegally disclosing State secrets and intelligence, a defendant will face a jail term of between five to 10 years.

"If the circumstances are serious, the convict will be sentenced to life imprisonment, at the maximum," Li said.