Ex-Interpol chief facing corruption charges is expelled from Chinese government advisory body
- Meng Hongwei’s wife claims her husband is target of ‘political persecution’
- Buddhist abbot quits committee and is removed from ethics role
The Chinese former head of Interpol, who is facing corruption charges in his home country, has been expelled from China’s top political advisory board, state media said on Friday.
The National Committee for the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) agreed to revoke Meng Hongwei’s membership, Xinhua news agency reported.
The CPPCC is a 2,000-strong assembly of delegates whose role is to “advise” the government by putting policy suggestions.
Although powerless, it includes celebrities such as film star Jackie Chan, basketball player Yao Ming and some of China’s richest corporate chiefs.
Meng, also a vice public security minister, disappeared in September while on a visit to China from France, where Interpol is based.
Authorities revealed he was facing a corruption investigation, and Meng resigned as head of the international police organisation.
Meng’s wife, Grace, has been living under French police protection in the city of Lyon, close to Interpol headquarters, since she reported that her husband had gone missing.
She said she cannot believe the accusation against her husband and claimed he is the target of “political persecution”.
She said the term “anti-corruption” has become a synonym for criminal charges that could not be proven.
The committee also accepted the resignation of the former head of China’s Buddhist association, abbot Xuecheng, who faces criminal investigation for sexual assault and financial crime.
He has also been removed as deputy head of the ethnic and religious committee of the CPPCC.
A report by fellow monks earlier this year accused Xuecheng of sexual and financial improprieties, including coercing nuns to have sex with him.
Investigators had also uncovered evidence that his monastery had broken financial rules.
Before his fall from grace, Xuecheng was a prominent personality in Chinese Buddhist life, with a social media following of millions.