China’s former spy chief jailed for life

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Shenyang (China), Dec 27 (IANS) China’s former intelligence chief Ma Jian was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for crimes, including taking bribes and insider trading.

Ma, a former vice Minister in China’s powerful Ministry of State Security which oversees foreign and counterintelligence operations, pleaded guilty and will not appeal, said the Intermediate People’s Court of Dalian in Liaoning Province.

His case is linked to that of one of China’s most wanted fugitives, exiled property tycoon Guo Wengui, who published a series of allegations of corruption among top members of the Communist Party.

Between 1999 to 2014, Ma used his position to help Guo Wengui, who now lives in New York, further his business interests, the court said.

He took more than 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) in bribes and profited by trading stocks based on insider information, it added.

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“The defendant Ma Jian’s bribery amount was extremely large and the national and people’s interests suffered a particularly heavy loss, which seriously infringed on the integrity of civil servants,” the court said.

Ma was put under investigation in 2015 and expelled from the Communist Party one year later.

The court on Thursday revoked Ma’s political rights and ordered confiscation of all his personal assets.

It said Ma was given a lenient sentence, given that he honestly and voluntarily confessed to his crimes, showed repentance and was cooperative in returning all his illegal gains.

–IANS

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