China′s anti-corruption campaign snags ex-Politburo member | News | DW | 12.04.2018
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China's anti-corruption campaign snags ex-Politburo member

Sun Zhengcai, a former Politburo member and city party chief, has been put on trial on bribery charges. But rights groups have criticized some of the tactics used in China's campaign to uproot corruption.

Top former Chinese political high-flyer Sun Zhengcai was put on trial for bribery on Thursday as part of a sweeping anti-corruption campaign.

Prosecutors accuse the former Politburo member and Communist Party leader in the western megacity of Chongqing of abusing his office by seeking profits for others in exchange for significant amounts of money.

Although the indictment rests on allegations of bribery, Chinese leaders have made clear that Sun's offenses also have a political angle.

Sun is one of the most high-profile cases in President Xi Jinping's anti-graft campaign targeting senior officials of the Communist Party and state-affiliated enterprises.

Read more: 'The Chinese Dream' and Xi Jinping's power politics

Former security chief Zhou Yongkang in court

Zhou Yongkang, ex-security chief and former member of the Communist Party Politburo, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption

Sweeping campaign

In 2015, a Chinese court sentenced former security chief Zhou Yongkang to life in prison for abuse of power and bribery.

Zhou was officially charged with disclosing state secrets, abuse of power and accepting bribes. Other politicians targeted by the anti-corruption campaign include former Commerce Minister Bo Xilai and ex-General Xu Caihou.

Read more: Is China's anti-corruption campaign a political weapon for Xi Jinping?

But rights groups have criticized the campaign, saying several of those targeted have been subjected to torture.

"President Xi (Jinping) has built his anti-corruption campaign on an abusive and illegal detention system," said Human Rights Watch in 2016. "Torturing suspects to confess won't bring an end to corruption, but will end any confidence in China's judicial system."

ls/rt (AFP, AP)

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