• Wed
  • Sep 3, 2014
  • Updated: 1:17am
NewsChina
CORRUPTION

Corruption probe of PLA's Xu Caihou dropped because of terminal cancer

Retired Xu Caihou has terminal bladder cancer, 'which is equal to the death penalty'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 4:24am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 4:24am

A corruption probe into a retired senior PLA general was dropped because he has terminal cancer - a fate "equal to the death penalty" - two sources have told the South China Morning Post.

President Xi Jinping decided not to punish Xu Caihou, 70, who was vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, one of the sources, a senior colonel, said.

Xu was being investigated as part of the Communist Party's inquiry into one of his subordinates, Gu Junshan, a former deputy logistics chief for the PLA, the source said.

Gu has been under shuanggui - the secretive form of administrative detention imposed on party members suspected of corruption - since early 2012.

"Xu was interrogated after the army's anti-graft investigators started their probe of Gu, but he escaped military discipline after he was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer," the senior colonel said.

Xu was made vice-chairman of the commission, the body that commands the armed forces and is currently headed by Xi, in 2004. He remained in the position until retiring last year.

The senior colonel expressed disappointment that Xu was not punished. "When Xu was taken away for investigation, many mid-ranking cadres like me were very happy. We believed at the time that Xu would be 'the biggest tiger' that would be caught in the massive anti-graft campaign," he said. "We were very disappointed to learn that Xu was exempt [from prosecution] because of his illness."

The sources said they were told the investigation of Xu was dropped after he handed over his ill-gotten gains and that his terminal cancer "equates with the death penalty".

"But from our point of view, we don't know why Xi didn't use the chance to punish him to please the public and the army," the senior colonel said.

The other source, from the PLA's Academy of Military Sciences, confirmed that Xu had been diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, saying that "Xu won't have to worry about any more investigations".

"If Xu were punished, it will help the army rebuild its public image," the senior colonel said.

Gu, who was in charge of the military's extensive property portfolio, reportedly received bribes worth at least 8.6 billion yuan (HK$10.9 billion) in cash and gifts.

Sun Sijing, head of the anti-graft watchdog overseeing the army's general logistics department, confirmed Gu was being investigated and that details about the investigation would be announced soon.

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recanter
If he was terminally ill, wouldn't he want to make his peace and come clean???
Dai Muff
While powerful corrupt fat cats are not charged because they are ill, dissidents and their families are allowed to die in cells or under house arrest, with no medical supervision, no matter how ill they are.
chaz_hen
Justice...with Chinese characteristics...
Macro75
This is a signal that the anti-corruption campaign is out of steam. There probably will not be another 'tiger' caught in this movement, just more pussycats.
22gt7
We all know that some animals are more equal than others, as elaborated in Animal Farm. The Chinese saying goes: if you steal a hook, you will be put to death; but who usurped power actually become princes. Even the Supreme Court Judge of Hong Kong can order a permanent stay of proceedings on the grounds that the wealthy and powerful accused suffers from dementia. So the lesson is unambiguously clear: if you are an ordinary dude, make sure you abide by the law because only those at the top echelon are immune from investigation and prosecution!
superdx
He may be dead but the corruption still exists. Find out the people who paid him, and any other co-conspirators who have benefited or aided him. What a joke, and Chinese officials wonders why it never seems to earn any respect, domestic or otherwise.
rolftsui
All accusations of criminal behaviour needs to be brought before an independent court to be tested whether the accused is ill, alive or dead.
It flies in the face of justice and it once again confirms and proves the double standards employed by the Communist Party of China and it's army of faceless men.
Clean up your own backyard before commenting on others on the world stage!
chuchu59
Should it turn out out to be true terminal cancer (which I seriously doubt) the case should still be pursued though he should not be required to serve a sentence even if convicted. To drop a case like this sends a signal to the rest of the corrupt cadres that they only need to come up with big excuses to avoid being investigated. Investigations must go on though sentences levied if convicted can be more lenient.
chaz_hen
So this crook gets to die with honour and no black mark to his name?
Dai Muff
We've been through this before. Even in HK. He'll still be here in a decade.

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