xi's moments
Home | Society

Former minister of justice jailed for accepting bribes

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-23 09:23


A court sentenced two former senior officials serving in the justice system to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes and other crimes on Thursday.

Fu Zhenghua, former minister of justice, received a suspended death sentence by a court in Jilin province on Thursday for bribery and flouting the law.

The Intermediate People's Court of Changchun, capital of Jilin, publicly announced the death sentence with a two-year reprieve to Fu for the crime of bribery, and also sentenced Fu to 14 years in prison for flouting the law.

In combination, Fu was given a suspended death sentence. After the two-year reprieve for his death sentence, Fu's prison term could be commuted to life in prison, but the court added no further reduction or parole shall be given to him, meaning he will remain behind the bars for the rest of his life.

Additionally, the court stripped him of his political rights and ordered that all his personal property be confiscated. His illicit gains, as well as the interest they generated, were recovered and turned over to the State treasury.

From 2005 to last year, Fu abused his power in his various work positions, including as head of the Beijing Public Security Bureau, deputy head of the Ministry of Public Security and minister of justice, to offer aid to relevant departments and individuals in their enterprise operations, promotions and case handlings, the court said.

In return, Fu accepted bribes of more than 117 million yuan ($17.4 million) either directly or through relatives, it added.

Furthermore, between 2014 and 2015, when Fu led the Beijing Public Security Bureau, he hid evidence of serious crimes that his younger brother had been suspected of committing. As a result, his brother escaped prosecution for a long time, according to the court.

"Fu should receive the death penalty because the sum of the bribes he accepted was extremely large and the circumstances were extremely serious, and not only caused an extremely negative social impact, but also resulted in extremely major losses in the interests of the country and the people," the court said.

When handing down its sentence, the court also took into account that Fu provided clues for other ongoing investigations which got verified later, it said.

"He pleaded guilty and handed over illicit gains in a proactive way and thus shall be given lenient punishment," the court said.

But considering his crimes and the serious damage done to the nation and society, "we decided not to further reduce his sentence after the suspended death penalty".

Fu, 67, a native of Hebei province, worked in various positions in China's public security and judicial systems for many years. He became head of the Beijing Public Security Bureau in 2010, vice-minister of public security in 2013 and minister of justice in 2018.

Before he was placed under investigation last October, Fu was deputy head of the Committee on Social and Legal Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

In July, Fu was prosecuted for the crimes, and his case was heard this month.

Separately, Wang Like, a former top official in charge of political and legal affairs in Jiangsu province, received a suspended death sentence on Thursday for taking and offering bribes, shielding gang members and forging identity documents.

The Changchun court also sentenced Wang to death with a two-year reprieve for accepting bribes of 440 million yuan ($65.6 million), and also sentenced him to life in prison for offering bribes.

At the same time, the court handed out a 15-year sentence to Wang for shielding gangsters, as well as a sixyear sentence and a fine of 10,000 yuan for forgery of identity cards.

Considering mitigating factors, the court said it decided to suspend Wang's death sentence.

The defendant was deprived of his political rights for life, and all his personal assets were confiscated. His illicit gains, along with the interest from the bribery, were recovered and turned over to the State treasury.

After the two-year reprieve for his death penalty, Wang's sentence can be reduced to life in prison in line with the law, but no further reduction or parole shall be afforded to him, the court added. It means that he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

From 1993 to 2020, Wang took advantage of various work positions, such as deputy head of the Liaoning provincial public security bureau, vice-mayor of Dalian, a city in Liaoning, and vice-governor of Jiangsu to provide aid for others in their enterprise operations, loan handling, job transfer and case handling, according to the court.

In return, he accepted bribes of more than 440 million yuan, it said.

Wang also offered bribes of more than 97 million yuan to senior officials in the country's public security system, including Sun Lijun, former vice-minister of public security, it added.

Additionally, Wang acted as the protector of a gang in Jinzhou, Liaoning, condoning the gangsters' illegal activities for a long time and helping the gang escape a crackdown, it said.

He aided the gang's expansion by coordinating banks to provide loans for it, which severely damaged the local economy and public order, it said. Wang also used his power to forge multiple ID cards for himself and others close to him, it added.

Because he pleaded guilty and voluntarily confessed to some offenses that investigators had not known about and was cooperative in returning his illegal gains, the court was lenient with his punishment.

Wang, 58, a native of Shandong province, started his career in 1980 and joined the Communist Party of China in 1984. He served various positions in Liaoning for a long period and moved to Jiangsu in 2013.

In October 2020, he turned himself in and was investigated for suspected serious violations of Party discipline and the law.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349