Former top Chinese general gets life sentence for taking bribes

A Chinese military court on Monday sentenced former general Guo Boxiong to life in prison for accepting bribes, in the highest-level military prosecution in decades.

Guo, 74, was also stripped of his rank and forced to turn over all his assets to the state treasury, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Before he retired in 2012, Guo was vice chairman of the elite Central Military Commission and a member of the ruling Communist Party's 25-member Politburo.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post cited anonymous sources close to the military as saying Guo had accepted 80 million yuan (12.3 million dollars) and had awarded higher ranks in exchange for bribes.

Guo's son, Major General Guo Zhenggang, was placed under investigation for corruption last year. 

Xu Caihou, another former Central Military Commission vice chairman, was also facing corruption charges when he died of cancer last March. 

President Xi Jinping has recently increased the focus on army officers in his "tiger and flies" anti-graft campaign against both high- and low-ranking officials. 

Corruption has been widespread in the Chinese military since at least the 1990s, when military officials began to run thousands of businesses and services in the country.  The most senior political figure to be tried so far is Zhou Yongkang, the former head of China's security apparatus. He was handed a life sentence on June 11, 2015, for accepting bribes, abuse of power and deliberately disclosing state secrets. The former vice minister of public security, Li Dongsheng, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on January 12 for accepting millions in bribes.

Last update: Mon, 25/07/2016 - 14:05
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