Top Chinese military officer bags life jail for taking bribe

The renewed anti-corruption drive of the current Chinese President and leader of the ruling Communist Party  Xi Jinping has caught up with a top military officer and former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong.

Mr. Boxiong who has been stripped of his military rank and forced to hand over all his assets to Chinese government was found guilty of leveraging on the office he held to collect bribes.  Having confessed to the crime and found guilty of same, Guo was sentenced to life in prison.  This brought to an end China’s highest-level prosecution of a military figurer in many decades.

Prior to his sentence, Guo who was sentenced at 74 was the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission.  He was among the 25 members of the party’s Politburo

Although there were scanty details of the charges against Guo, state media had reported that the prosecutors had proof that he and his family members took advantage of his position and accepted bribes and arranged promotions and assignments for others.

The reports as well confirmed according to the prosecutors that Guo had confessed to the bribery charges.

Guo’s former immediate subordinate on the military commission, Gen. Xu Caihou, was also facing prosecution when he died of cancer in March last year.

Geo allegedly had a total of 80million yuan {equivalent of $12.3m} as bribe already collected according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper quoting an unidentified military source.

Though officially retired, Guo continued to enjoy many of the rights and privileges of his exalted status.

As the commission’s first-ranking vice chairman, Guo was responsible over a decade for the daily operations of the 2.3 million-member People’s Liberation Army, the world’s largest standing military. During that time, the military enjoyed large annual budget increases, fueling competition for potentially lucrative control over funds, units and support functions such as construction.

Guo’s prosecution had been expected since March 2015, when his son, Maj. Gen. Guo Zhenggang, was placed under formal investigation for corruption and unspecified criminal activity. The senior Guo was expelled from the party a year ago.

Some top generals are reported to have accumulated stunning fortunes through corruption in both cash and gifts, including golden statues of Mao Zedong and cases of expensive liquor stacked to the ceiling in secret underground caches.

Such practices are believed by some to have sapped morale and battle worthiness in the People’s Liberation Army, and Xi has relentlessly driven home the need for officers to keep their hands clean and follow the party’s leadership.

 

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