• Thursday, May 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:59 pm

China's former Interpol chief sentenced to 13 years in prison

  • Published at 05:13 pm January 21st, 2020
China-ex-Interpol chief-Meng Hongwei
Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, centre, during his sentencing at the court in the Chinese city of Tianjin on January 21, 2020

Meng - a former vice minister of public security - is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign

Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei, who was detained on a visit to China in 2018, was sentenced Tuesday to more than 13 years in prison for bribery in a case that shook the international police organization.

Meng - a former vice minister of public security - is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign, which critics say has also served as a way to remove the leader's political enemies.

He vanished during a visit to China from France, where Interpol is based, and was later accused of accepting bribes and expelled from the Communist Party.

His wife was granted political asylum in France last year, after saying she was afraid she and her two children would be the targets of kidnapping attempts.

The 66-year-old was sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison and fined $290,000, said the Tianjin First Intermediate People's Court on Tuesday.

At his trial last June, Meng pleaded guilty to accepting $2.1 million in bribes, after the court said he used his status and positions to "seek improper benefit", illegally acquire property and accumulate bribes.

The court statement on Tuesday said that some of the "stolen money and stolen goods could not be recovered."

Pictures from the court showed a grim-faced Meng standing in front of a judge, flanked by two police officers.

Meng had "truthfully confessed to all the criminal facts" and would not appeal the decision, the court said.

Knife emoji

The country's public security bureau has linked Meng's case to a broader initiative to "completely remove the pernicious influence" of Zhou Yongkang, a former security czar who was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for bribery, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.

Meng was appointed as vice security minister by Zhou in 2004.

In that role, he was entrusted with a number of sensitive portfolios, including the country's counter-terrorism division, and he was in charge of the response to violence in China's fractious northwestern region of Xinjiang.

During Meng's tenure, China's public security bureau also arrested and interrogated a number of prominent Chinese dissidents, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who later died of liver cancer while in police custody.

In 2013, Meng was appointed director of China's maritime police bureau, which includes the country's coast guard and maritime anti-smuggling authorities.

He was the first Chinese president at Interpol - raising concerns among human rights groups who feared Beijing's influence reaching overseas - and was expected to serve a four-year term until 2020.

When he vanished in September 2018 he sent his wife a message telling her to "wait for my call," and then a knife emoji signifying danger.

A few weeks later, Interpol was informed that Meng had resigned, with Beijing later announcing he was being held on suspicion of taking bribes.

Meng's wife has argued that Chinese officials had presented "no proof whatsoever to back up their charges."

He was replaced as president of Interpol by South Korea's Kim Jong-yang.

52
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail