China expels ex-Interpol chief from Communist Party | News | DW | 27.03.2019
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China expels ex-Interpol chief from Communist Party

While Chinese authorities accuse former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei of taking bribes, his high-profile disappearance has raised concerns about the reach President Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-graft campaign.

China prosecuted former Interpol President Meng Hongwei from the Communist Party and removed him from his public office positions, the country's graft watchdog said on Wednesday.

Meng is one of a growing group of Chinese officials caught in President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign, which critics say is being used as a way to remove political enemies.

What we know:

The Community Party's disciplinary committee laid out the charges and actions taken against him in a statement, including:

  • Finding Meng guilty of legal violations, failing to implement the party's decisions;
  • Accusing him of taking bribes and using them to fund his family's "extravagant lifestyle;"
  • Claiming he abused his position to benefit his wife and securing her employment.
  • Confiscating his "illegal income" and removing him from is post as the vice minister of public security.
Watch video 01:58

Interpol chief’s arrest in China leaves many puzzled

Head of Interpol vanishes: Last fall, Meng disappeared during a visit to China from France. Shortly thereafter, Chinese authorities informed Interpol that he had resigned as president and was accused of taking bribes. He became the first Chinese head of the international police organization after rising through the ranks of China's security apparatus.

Wife appeals for help: Meng's wife Grace has said she fears for her life and her sons' lives following the arrest and is under French police protection. She remains in Lyon, where Interpol's headquarters is located. Last week, she urged French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss her husband's case with Xi during his official visit to Paris.

Anti-graft campaign: Over one millionofficials in China have been convicted under a sweeping anti-graft campaign in the six years since President Xi came into office. While Beijing has said the campaign is a way to stamp out criminal activity, analysts have said it is also being used to remove Xi's political rivals.

rs/rc (AP, AFP)

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