China's former PLA number 2 Xu Caihou dies of cancer amid graft probe
Prosecutors dropped charges against general - one of 16 senior officers held last year on suspicion of corruption - but will continue efforts to recover huge bribes allegedly paid to him
Disgraced former People’s Liberation Army No 2 Xu Caihou died of bladder cancer on Sunday, Xinhua reported late that night.
He was 71.
Xu, a former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, was facing prosecution for corruption after coming under investigation last year. He was the most senior PLA general to be probed for graft.
Xinhua said military prosecutors had decided to drop the charges against the general, but would continue to process his alleged illicit financial gains in accordance with the law.
Military prosecutors wrapped up their investigation of Xu's graft case in October, accusing him of taking advantage of his position to help others gain promotions. In return, he allegedly accepted huge bribes personally and through his family.
Xu was expelled from the Communist Party in June.
Since President Xi Jinping extended his anti-graft campaign to the military, 16 senior officers, including Xu, have been detained in the last year for suspected graft.
And early this month, the People's Liberation Army announced that another 14 officers, many of them major generals, had also come under investigation. Among them is Guo Zhenggang, son of Xu's counterpart Guo Boxiong.
Mainland media and military representatives on the sidelines of the just finished annual parliamentary sessions in Beijing named Guo Boxiong in relation to his son's case, prompting speculation over the fate of the father.
It is unclear if Xu's death and the end of his prosecution will affect Guo Boxiong.