Former Chinese justice minister admits taking millions in bribes-court

Fu Zhenghua, head of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, is pictured during a meeting in Beijing, China January 17, 2011. Picture taken January 17, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

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BEIJING, July 28 (Reuters) – A former Chinese justice minister who took a hard line on law enforcement admitted accepting bribes totaling over 117 million yuan ($17.3 million), a Chinese court said on Thursday.

The trial of Fu Zhenghua, 67, began on Thursday at the Changchun Intermediate People’s Court in the northeastern province of Jilin, more than three months after the former official was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes and “bending the law for personal gain”.

Fu admitted to what he had done and expressed remorse, the court said in a statement.

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The arrest and trial of Fu, once a rising star in law enforcement, followed a probe launched last year by China’s top anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. Fu was kicked out of the Chinese Communist Party and public office for breach of party discipline and rules, Xinhua news agency reported in March.

During the trial, Fu was also accused by state prosecutors of using his authority between 2014 and 2015, as then director of Beijing’s public security bureau, to conceal clues about suspected crimes committed by his brother, the court said, though no further details were given .

“The bribery part of the trial was open to the public; the part of the trial on favoritism and bending the law was closed in accordance with the law because it involved state secrets,” the court said.

At the end of the trial, the court announced a recess and sentencing at a later date.

It was not possible to reach Fu or a lawyer representing him since his arrest.

President Xi Jinping started a campaign of purges of China’s domestic security apparatus in 2020, seeking to ensure police, prosecutors and judges are “absolutely loyal, absolutely pure and absolutely reliable”.

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Reporting by Eduardo Baptista; Editing by Toby Chopra

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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