Former Chinese deputy intelligence chief Ma Jian sentenced to life in prison for corruption
China’s former deputy intelligence chief has been sentenced to life in prison for corruption.
- Mr Ma was found guilty of accepting bribes and insider trading
- He was also ruled to have used his political power to aid the operations of US-based businessman Guo Wengui
- Chinese President Xi Jinping has been waging an anti-corruption campaign since 2012
Ma Jian was found guilty of crimes including accepting bribes and insider trading, according to a court in the north-eastern port city of Dalian.
Mr Ma, who previously was the vice minister of the state security bureau, was also ordered to pay more than 50 million yuan ($10.35 million) in penalties.
The court said in a statement that Mr Ma used his political power to aid the business operations of Guo Wengui, a real estate billionaire wanted by Chinese authorities.
New York-based Mr Guo has published a series of online videos in which he makes sensational allegations of corruption in the upper echelons of China’s ruling Communist Party.
Mr Guo gained control of a national securities company after Mr Ma sent letters addressed from the state security bureau to threaten and pressure individuals to hand over their shares to Mr Guo.
Guo Wengui has used social media to lob corruption allegations at some of China’s most senior leaders. (Reuters: Carlo Allegri)
Separately, Mr Ma also obtained insider information about the same company whose shares his relatives later purchased, resulting in profits of more than 49 million yuan ($10.14 million).
Mr Ma is the latest top official to be ensnared in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s banner anti-corruption campaign, which he launched shortly after taking power in 2012.
Mr Xi pledged to take down both high-level “tigers” and low-level “flies” in a drive to purge the ruling Communist Party of rampant corruption.
The initiative has won Xi broad popularity among the general public, but his critics — Mr Guo included — have called the crackdown a convenient way to eliminate political enemies.