Ex-chief of Chinese spy agency to be prosecuted for graft

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Beijing, Dec 30 (IANS) The former head of China’s spy agency is set to be prosecuted for alleged bribery and abuse of authority nearly two years after he was arrested, said the Communist Party of China (CPC) Friday.

A statement released by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection — the Chinese regime’s main anti-corruption watchdog — said Ma Jian, who has been under investigation since January 2015, has been officially expelled from the party and his case handed over to legal authorities, paving the way for a trial, Efe news reported.

Investigations by the ruling party revealed Ma abused his position to benefit companies owned by his family members and friends, said the statement.

Previous reports in the Hong Kong press said Ma was suspected of unlawful links with Founder Group, a technological conglomerate with links to the prestigious University of Beijing.

Ma is not the first senior public security official to have fallen into disgrace in the President Xi Jinping-led anti-corruption campaign.

Last year, former State Security Minister Zhou Yongkang — one of the most powerful Chinese politicians during the previous decade — was sentenced to life imprisonment for graft, and a large chunk of his close aides arrested, investigated and convicted, as part of the campaign, which some believe is Xi’s way of clamping down on rival factions within the party.

Ma worked for China’s spy agency for 30 years, and observers say he was close to Ling Jihua, former personal secretary to ex-President Hu Jintao.

Ling was also handed a life sentence on corruption charges in July this year.

–IANS

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