Zhou Yongkang, former security chief and standing committee member of the Communist Party of China’s Political Bureau, was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday after he was found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and intentional disclosure of state secrets.
Zhou admitted to the accusations in court and said that he won’t appeal the sentence. He was formally charged on April 3 in Tianjin. The trial was not open due to the confidentiality of state secrets.
Zhou is the highest-ranking official to be sentenced to prison since China’s toughest anti-corruption campaign was launched in 2013.
Zhou was placed under investigation for suspected serious disciplinary violations by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in July 2014.
He was arrested in December 2014 and expelled from the Party. He was placed under investigation by
China’s top prosecution body, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, after being accused of a series of offenses.
From 2007 to 2013, Zhou served as the Secretary of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee. Prior, Zhou was Minister of Public Security from 2002 to 2007 and Party Secretary of Sichuan Province from 1999 to 2002.
Zhou also worked in the oil industry from 1967 to 1998 and rose upwards to become the general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation in 1996.
In his final statement, Zhou accepted the charges. “The basic facts are clear. I plead guilty and repent my wrongdoing,” he said.
“Those involved, who bribed my family, were actually coming after the power I held, and I should take the main responsibility.
“I broke the law and Party rules incessantly, and the objective facts of my crimes have resulted in grave losses of the Party and the nation.
“The handling of my case in accordance with Party rules and the law reflects the authorities’ determination to govern the Party strictly and advance the rule of law,” Zhou added.
Zhou Yongkang sentenced to life
In a closed-door trial, China’s former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and leaking state secrets. CCTV’s Zhao Yunjie filed this report.