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 party officials within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
China’s ruling party is set to hold its once-every-five-year major party Congress next month, where President Xi Jinping is expected to take a historic third term and consolidate his 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 CCP’s internal watchdog investigated 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.