Chinese prosecutors on Monday began an investigation into the corruption charges against Sun Zhengcai, one of the top officials of the ruling Communist Party of China who has been accused of being part of attempts to stage a coup against President Xi Jinping, reports PTI.
Sun, 53, was removed from his post as party chief of Chinese mega-city Chongqing in July. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) of China announced on Monday that it has started proceedings against Sun for suspected bribery and had approved the taking of “coercive measures” against him, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The measures against Sun may include summons by force, bail, and detention, and further investigation is underway, the report said. Sun, also the former member of the previous Politburo of the 18th CPC was put under investigation on suspicion of accepting bribes and trading power for sex, it said. He was removed ahead of the once-in-a-five-year-congress of the CPC, which endorsed a five-year term for Xi.
Sun was the youngest member of the 25-member Politburo and he was even seen in some quarters as Xi’s potential successor. Ahead of the Congress, Liu Shiyu, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission said Xi had foiled the coup plot by former political heavyweights who were at the receiving end of his high-profile anti-graft campaign, a top Chinese official said.
Xi has saved the Communist Party by foiling the coup plot by his detractors, Liu was quoted as saying on the side-lines of Congress.
“(Xi) addressed the cases of Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang, Ling Jihua, Xu Caihou, Guo Boxiong and Sun Zhengcai. They had high positions and great power in the party, but they were hugely corrupt and plotted to usurp the party’s leadership and seize state power,” Liu said,
Sun had been expelled from the party and handed over to judicial authorities for further investigation. The announcement came two months after his downfall but no details of the investigation were released, according to the reports. Sun’s fall from grace in July reminded many of the dramatic downfalls of one of his predecessors in both Chongqing Bo Xilai, five years ago, ahead of the previous party congress.
Bo who once regarded as a rival to Xi five years ago is currently languishing in prison serving a life sentence. Thousands of officials of the CPC at various levels, including the military have been punished in massive anti-graft campaign by Xi after he took over power in 2015.