Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign

Prosecution of PLA General Xu Caihou for graft about to begin, sources say

Authorities about to begin prosecution of Xu Caihou, several sources say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 5:08am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2014, 7:31pm

Mainland authorities are ready to begin prosecuting General Xu Caihou , a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, according to four separate sources familiar with the case.

Xu would be the highest-ranking People's Liberation Army officer to go on trial for corruption.

Authorities have started to brief senior military officials, both current and retired ones, across the country in recent days on the findings of the investigation, suggesting the probe was entering its final stage.

The authorities will make a public announcement very soon, sources said.

The South China Morning Post reported in March Xu had been taken from his bed at the 301 Military Hospital in Beijing by an escort of dozens of armed police.

Speculation has focused on the relationship of the 71-year-old general with another retired senior leader, Zhou Yongkang , who is also the subject of a corruption investigation, and with Bo Xilai , a former member of the Politburo who is serving jail terms for corruption and abuse of power.

Initial findings showed Xu had taken a large amount of bribes from Gu Junshan, a former PLA deputy logistics chief, according to sources, who included a retired senior officer briefed on the matter and another with close ties to the PLA. Gu was charged in March for embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power.

The briefing said Xu received more than 35 million yuan (HK$44 million) from Gu directly or through his family members. Some of the bribes were in the form of real estate.

Xu would be the most senior military official to be prosecuted since President Xi Jinping , who is also chairman of the CMC, came to power and vowed to clean up the Communist Party and the PLA.

Meanwhile, Song Ping , a party elder seen as a mentor to former president and Communist Party chief Hu Jintao , made a rare public appearance in Beijing yesterday, becoming the latest former party leader to step briefly out of low-key retirement.

Song attended a charity event to raise funds for poor students at a Beijing club, according to reports by mainland media.