International

Ex-Interpol chief to face trial in China

Beijing, May 10 (IANS) | Publish Date: 5/10/2019 12:36:59 PM IST

Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei will face trial in the Chinese city of Tianjin for accepting bribes, authorities said on Friday.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on its website that the National Supervisory Commission had concluded its investigation into the alleged corrupt acts of Meng and that his case would be tried in the Tianjin No 1 Intermediate People’s Court without specifying when the trial would start. According to the announcement, the accused abused his position as a Vice Minister of Public Security and head of the maritime police to receive a large number of bribes.

The statement added that the amounts involved were huge and that Meng should face criminal charges in accordance with the law, Efe news reported.

On April 24 this year, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced the issuance of a formal arrest warrant for Meng, who was held without formal charges and whose whereabouts were unknown since September. 

Earlier on March 26, it emerged that Meng had been expelled from the Communist Party of China and stripped of all of his positions for allegedly committing serious violations of the party’s law and discipline. 

The former Interpol chief mysteriously disappeared after boarding a plane heading to China on September 25, 2018. Meng’s family lost track of him, and his wife Grace, who lives in France, reported him missing and called for help. 

After several days of silence and under pressure from the international community, which demanded explanations from China about Meng’s whereabouts, the National Supervisory Commission, a Chinese anti-corruption agency, confirmed in early October that Meng was being detained. 

Later, Interpol announced the departure of its President with immediate effect after Meng resigned from office in a letter. 

Chinese law stipulates that the police have the authority to hold suspects accused of national security offences or accused of terrorism or bribery without communication and in a secret location for up to six months, a regulation that, in many cases, applies to dissidents or activists. 

Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, China has tried several senior officials for receiving bribes in its anti-corruption campaign.

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