China Charges Former Interpol President With Bribery

April 24, 2019 Updated: April 24, 2019

BEIJING—The Chinese regime announced on April 24 that it has formally arrested former Interpol President Meng Hongwei on suspicion of accepting bribes.

The indictment from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate comes after Meng was expelled last month from public office and the ruling Communist Party.

Meng’s wife accused Chinese authorities of lying and questioned in a statement on Wednesday whether her husband is still alive. Grace Meng has remained in France with their two boys since her husband’s detention in September.

Meng was elected president of the international police organization in 2016, but his four-year term was cut short when he was detained by Chinese authorities during a visit to China last October. At the time, he was also one of China’s vice ministers of public security.

The party’s disciplinary committee said an investigation found that Meng was guilty of serious legal violations. It said in a statement that he abused his power in order to satisfy his family’s “extravagant lifestyle.”

Meng is among a slew of high-ranking officials who have been ensnared by Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s sweeping crackdown on graft and perceived disloyalty. Corruption charges usually result in convictions and lengthy sentences, including life in prison.

Rights groups criticized Meng’s appointment in 2016, pointing to the lack of transparency in China’s legal systems and the potential for Meng to use his position against Beijing’s political opponents.

Meng’s political connections may be what cost him his post. He may have somehow been tainted by former security chief and ex-Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption.

Meng’s various jobs likely put him in close contact with Zhou and other Chinese leaders in the security establishment, a sector long synonymous with corruption, opacity and human rights abuses.

Zhou and other senior figures prosecuted in Xi’s anti-corruption crackdown were mostly convicted of corruption but officials have since also said they were accused of “conspiring openly to usurp party leadership.”

Xi has ousted many powerful officials—most of them part of an enemy faction loyal to former leader Jiang Zemin—since launching his anti-corruption campaign when he came to power in 2012.

The Epoch Times contributed to this report.

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