China’s ex-security czar charged with bribery, abuse of power

BEIJING, Apr 3:  China’s former security czar Zhou Yongkang was today charged with bribery, abuse of power and intentional disclosure of state secrets, making him the senior-most official to face trial in recent decades.
The indictment was filed before the Tianjin Municipal No.1 Intermediate People’s Court, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Zhou is the highest-ranking Communist Party of China (CPC) official to have been prosecuted in recent decades. He retired in 2012 after decades of wielding power in the party and the government.
Also, dozens of officials including some top generals who were close to him faced investigations.
Zhou, 73, was the ninth-ranking member of the powerful nine-member Standing Committee of the CPC during the previous President Hu Jintao regime.
He was formally arrested and expelled from the party after a host of investigations into corruption, abuse of power, trading power for sex and leaking secrets.
Zhou, served as deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation, secretary of the CPC, Sichuan Provincial Committee and member of the Polibureau of the CPC while being the minister of public security and state councillor.
The indictment filed today said Zhou took the advantage of his posts to offer interests to others and illegally accepted a huge amount of money and properties.
Zhou’s abuse of power resulted in grave losses of public property and interests of the country and the people.
The social impact was “bad” and his act was “particularly serious,” according to the indictment.
He also intentionally disclosed state secrets, it said.
Prosecutors informed Zhou of his litigation rights, interrogated him and heard opinions of his lawyers, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s statement.
The Tianjin procuratorate brought in the prosecution according to the law after the Supreme People’s Procuratorate completed its investigation into Zhou’s case, the report said.
Known as security czar for heading the internal security until 2012, Zhou wielded enormous power under former President Hu’s administration.
Besides corruption, he faces other charges, including helping mistresses and trading power for sex and money and leaking state secrets.
The investigation found that Zhou seriously violated the Party’s political, organisational and confidentiality discipline. (PTI)