Date
24 March 2017
Ling Jihua has been convicted on charges of taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power. Photo: AP
Ling Jihua has been convicted on charges of taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power. Photo: AP

Former Hu Jintao top aide gets life sentence for corruption

A Chinese court has sentenced a top aide to former president Hu Jintao to life imprisonment for corruption and other crimes.

Ling Jihua was convicted on charges of taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing state media.

The verdict continues a run of high-profile cases in President Xi Jinping’s widening anti-corruption crackdown.  

The Tianjin No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court ruled that Ling accepted bribes worth more than 77 million yuan (US$11.6 million) either personally or through his family.

State television showed Ling, who faced a possible death sentence, acknowledging his guilt in his first public appearance and comments since being placed under formal investigation in December 2014.

“I accept all the charges and submit to the judgment,” the 59-year-old said, appearing to read from a prepared statement. “I won’t appeal.”

Neither Ling nor his family could be reached for comment.

Ling’s conviction marked the passing of the high-water phase in Xi’s far-reaching corruption crackdown, according to WSJ.

While corruption investigators continue to detain senior officials, none has had the power or influence that Ling held.

The most high-profile official to fall is Zhou Yongkang, the former security chief and member of the central leadership, who was sentenced to life in prison a year ago.

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