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‘China to investigate former security czar over graft’

The decision was made in early August during a secretive meeting at a seaside resort town,the report said.

Written by Associated Press | Beijing |
August 31, 2013 4:21:10 am

China’s top leaders have endorsed a corruption investigation into a former security czar who was until recently one of the country’s most powerful politicians,a Hong Kong newspaper said Friday,in what would make him the most senior official targeted for graft in recent decades.

Rumours about an investigation into Zhou Yongkang began swirling as early as April last year because of his close association with disgraced politician Bo Xilai,who became embroiled in a scandal over his wife’s murder of a British businessman and who stood trial last week for corruption and abuse of power.

The English-language South China Morning Post,quoting sources “familiar with the leadership’s thinking”,said China’s current and retired top leaders reached the decision to investigate Zhou,who oversaw China’s massive state security apparatus and served on the Politburo Standing Committee,the apex of political power.

The decision was made in early August during a secretive meeting at a seaside resort town,the report said.

The SCMP report said the investigation will focus on oilfield and property deals that have benefited Zhou and his family. The Hong Kong newspaper’s report could not be independently verified.

Requests for comment were faxed to the State Council Information Office,the Cabinet’s press office,and the Communist Party’s propaganda department while calls to the Ministry of Supervision rang unanswered.

It has been several decades since a Politburo Standing Committee member has been prosecuted by China’s judiciary,whether incumbent or retired. The reported investigation may illustrate the new leadership’s determination to exempt nobody in its fight against endemic corruption.

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