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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 5:25am
Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign
NewsChina
CORRUPTION

Former PLA General Xu Caihou to face court martial over graft charges

Xu Caihou expelled from Communist Party, could get death penalty over graft allegations

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 6:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2014, 7:19pm
 

A former top general was expelled from the Communist Party for alleged corruption and his case handed to prosecutors for investigation, the Politburo announced yesterday.

Xu Caihou , a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, is the latest senior military figure implicated in President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign.

Along with the decision on Xu, made ahead of the party's 93rd anniversary today, it also expelled three ministerial-ranked officials or state firm executives over allegations of corruption and bribery, Xinhua reported.

All three are closely connected to former security tsar Zhou Yongkang , prompting renewed speculation about whether Zhou's fate would soon be revealed.

A report on the investigation into Xu, who was the No2 career serviceman in the PLA before his retirement, was presented at the Politburo meeting presided over by Xi, Xinhua reported. The case was handed to military prosecutors, it reported.

The 71-year-old Xu, who retired from the commission last year and from the party's decision-making Politburo in 2012, would be the most senior military figure to appear in court for corruption since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

"His case is serious and leaves a vile impact," Xinhua cited a Politburo statement as saying.

"Anyone, no matter what authority and office he holds, will receive serious punishment if violating party discipline and laws. We will never compromise nor show mercy," it said. "The military should not be a hiding place for corrupt people."

The investigation into Xu, launched on March 15, found he had received bribes "personally and through his family members" in exchange for granting promotions in the military.

Dozens of armed police took Xu from his bed at the 301 Military Hospital in Beijing on the day Xinhua said the probe was launched.

An internal briefing among senior military officers said Xu or his family had received more than 35 million yuan (HK$44 million) from the PLA's former deputy logistics chief, Gu Junshan. Gu was charged with several crimes, including bribery and embezzlement, in March.

A source with close ties to the PLA said the investigation into Xu by anti-graft officials had been under way for about a year.

A retired senior officer in the PLA said the decision to press charges was partly made to counter anger among some retired senior army officers over Xu's alleged corruption.

Some officers had even asked President Xi Jinping to push for the death penalty, according to the former officer, who asked not to be named.

"Xu is the biggest tiger in the army. If Xi wants to establish his prestige in the military, he has to bring down Xu," said the colonel, referring to the president's pledge to catch senior and lowly corrupt official - "tigers and flies" - as part of efforts to combat graft.

Xu, who became the vice-chairman of the commission, is believed to be an ally of Zhou and widely viewed as a supporter of disgraced Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai , who is serving a life sentence for corruption.

The announcement yesterday ended months of uncertainty over how the authorities would handle Xu, and indicated the party might soon wrap up the investigation against Zhou, reportedly launched last year.

"With people who are close to Zhou being implicated one by one, the anti-graft campaign is taken further towards what we call a big tiger," said Beijing-based political commentator Zhang Lifan. "The decision on Zhou may be made at the party's plenum this year."

Sources earlier said the plenum might be held ahead of its traditional date in September, with discussion on the rule of law the main agenda.

The party yesterday also announced its decision to expel Wang Yongchun , the former deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation; Li Dongsheng , the former vice-minister of public security; and Jiang Jiemin , the former chief regulator of state-owned enterprises.

Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, a professor of political science at City University in Hong Kong, said the president wanted to use Xu's case to prove that he was committed to rooting out corruption.

"Xi needs to establish some significant case to build up the credibility of his campaign."

Xu made his last public appearance on January 20.

During the interval, Xu approached the president several times to speak to him, but was ignored, sources said.

Xu's family is from a rural area near Dalian . He was a PLA political commissar in Jilin and was promoted to the Central Military Commission in 1999. He became vice-chairman in 2004.

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This article is now closed to comments

I Gandhi
If corruption was treated as seriously in the US, most of the US military with their corrupt links to the US military industrial complex will be in jail. Also for sure almost all the members in the US congress with the corruption from the lobbies will also have to be in jail. Obviously the cover up in the US is even worse than in China.
I Gandhi
If corruption was treated as seriously in the US, most of the US military with their corrupt links to the US military industrial complex will be in jail. Also for sure almost all the members in the US congress with the corruption from the lobbies will also have to be in jail. Obviously the cover up in the US is even worse than in China.
scmpgt
Lets start naming towns in sichuan that are so corrupt they don't even have water. If you can name even 1 US town that has been corrupted to this degree, I dare you. And this is just sichuan, not even the rest of mainland.
lamlm38
If you ever get the chance to live long enough on the mainland you know this time is quite serious!!
tkruemmer
I disagree. This anti-corruption drive is so much more broad, intense and long lasting than any other anti-corruption campaign I have seen in China in a quarter of a century. This one could well be the first earnest anti-corruption campaign in China in 400 years.
As much as I disagree with the ideology, I respect earnesty.
tkruemmer
Rumor, as ever rumor, has it, that XJP is quietly looking at his own family ties, too. The trouble with China's corruption is, if you are the relative of someone high-up, you do not need to ask for bribes, tributes are offered to you without asking. And in the face of large wealth forthcoming, it is very hard to say 'no.'
superdx
Why do you care about the US? So if the US is more corrupt, then it's ok for the PRC to be less than or equal to the US in its own corruption? Who's comparing? Who's counting? If China is the least corrupt government, then who gives a damn what the US, EU, Russia, Middle East think? Maybe people will emigrate to China instead of the other way around.
535a72d6-3824-43ca-adc5-52a60a3209cb
The entire Chinese Communist Party runs on corruption and brutality. Right now the new leader Xi is simply replacing the old boss' henchmen with his own. The Chinese Communist Party is a gangster regime that has murdered eighty million of its own people since 1949. It offers its people no human rights whatsoever. Right now it is attempting the genocide of the tens of millions of innocent Falun Gong who live in Mainland China. Atrocities such as torture, slavery, organ harvesting and murder are being committed every day and the Western media says nothing because of corporate greed. The weak U.N. even appointed the blood-thirsty CCP a seat on its Human Rights Council this year. Shameful. Money doesn't talk, it screams. Thank you for your concern.
sipsip1238
Such a sad news, and on the day when we celebrate China defeating the UK and taking back HK back in 1997 - isn't that right Global Times supporters!!!!
chaz_hen
So everyone's proud of Dear Leader Xi and his objective, fair corruption crackdown?
Even his family is scurrying like roaches to sell of their hundreds of millions of USD assets so as to not have Dear Leader Xi tied to their immense wealth should they, heaven forbid, have to go under scrutiny themselves.
Get this clear though: HOW? HOW could they have gotten to the point of hundreds of MILLIONS of USD in wealth without Dear Leader Xi's name and positions? Is every relative of a high ranking CCP goon such an amazingly LKS level shrewd businessperson?
And surely, naturally, they didn't have ANY of the hundreds of MILLIONS squirreled away for Dear Leader Xi and his family's use at their pleasure?
Please feel free to defend this all you want, .50 centers. After all...you're not the ones getting hundreds of MILLIONS in US$$$ for your defense of Dear Leader Xi...

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