Sun Lijun, China’s former police vice-minister, has pleaded guilty to taking bribes, manipulating the securities market and illegal possession of firearms. He was accused of taking bribes worth more than 646 million yuan (US$96.4 million) in exchange for business favours, government jobs and promotions, and handling criminal cases, the Changchun Intermediate People’s Court in northeastern Jilin province heard on Friday. Sun, 53, had been placed under disciplinary investigation in early 2020 and prosecutors in Changchun laid formal charges in January this year. Ex-boss of China’s secret police arrested on corruption charges The bribe-taking started in 2001, when he was an official with the Shanghai health bureau, and continued throughout his career, including as senior official of the Shanghai government’s Foreign Affairs Office, and various posts within the Ministry of Public Security up to vice-minister, prosecutors said at the first hearing, according to state news agency Xinhua. In April 2020, the Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog announced that Sun had been placed under investigation for serious violations. He was sacked and expelled from the party last year. In 2018, at the request of others, Sun had given orders for actions that influenced stock trading prices and volumes, the court heard. “The details of the crime were particularly serious,” prosecutors said. Sun also violated arms control protocols by illegally possessing two guns. “[Sun] lived a decadent life, accepting huge amounts of bribes and expensive gifts … [He] is a man with no morals, trading power for money and sex,” Xinhua had reported in September, quoting the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). The CCDI also said “[Sun] never had any real faith or ideals … harboured hugely inflated political ambitions, and was of extremely bad political quality”. Delivering his final statement in court, Sun expressed remorse and pleaded guilty. The judge adjourned the court to a later date for sentencing. Sun is one of the most high-profile figures from China’s security apparatus to be targeted in recent years under President Xi Jinping’s decade-long campaign against corruption . Fu Zhenghua, another former vice-minister of public security, was placed under investigation months after Sun and formally arrested in April. The CCDI said in March that Fu had lost his “ party spirit and principles ” and colluded with Sun. Both Fu and Sun were former deputy public security ministers and accused of political disloyalty, establishing political factions, and forming groups for personal gain. In a confession aired by state broadcaster China Central Television as part of a documentary series in January, Sun admitted cultivating a political clique that included senior city and law enforcement officials colluding with businessmen, and accepting huge amounts of money and property in return for favours. His trial comes just months ahead of the party’s national congress, the latest in a twice-a-decade gathering of the top Chinese leadership expected to feature a major reshuffle and a historic third term for Xi. Once a rising political star, Sun was appointed vice-minister for public security in 2018 and previously headed the ministry’s Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Affairs Office.