BEIJING: A Chinese court has sent senior police official and former head of Interpol, the international policing agency, to jail for 13-and-a-half years.
Meng Hongwei, 56, has been sentenced for bribery as part of the anti-corruption crusade launched by President Xi Jinping. He was the first Chinese head of Interpol.
Meng vanished on a trip back to the country from France where he was posted by Interpol in September 2018. Beijing later confirmed he had been detained for corruption.
Official sources said Meng has admitted to taking more than $2 million in bribes. Besides ordering a long jail term, the Tianjin No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court asked him to pay a fine of two million yuan ($289,540).
In a statement, the court said he would not appeal against the verdict.
Meng was expected to head Interpol until 2020. But the organisation said he resigned as president days after his wife reported him as missing.
Chinese authorities later said Meng was being investigated over suspected bribe-taking. They said he had abused his position for personal gain, misused state funds to finance his family’s “extravagant lifestyle” and disregarded Communist Party principles.
The Communist Party of China expelled him from the party and stripped him of all government positions, according to the party’s watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
His wife is currently living in France where she has been granted political asylum. She has said the charges against him are politically motivated.
China’s anti-corruption apparatus was expanded in March 2018 with the establishment of a new agency, the National Supervision Commission (NSC). It has been asked to oversee “all public servants exercising public power”, and not just party members.

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