01/21/2020, 16.45
CHINA
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Ex Interpol chief Meng Hongwei sentenced to 13-and-a-half years

by Wang Zhicheng

The 66-year-old must also pay a fine of 2 million yuan. He was expelled from the Communist Party in March 2019. His wife Grace has asked Interpol and the French president for help, to no avail.

 

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The No 1 Intermediate People’s Court in Tianjin sentenced Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese to head Interpol, to 13-and-a-half years in prison for corruption.

Between 2005 and 2017, Meng, 66, allegedly used the privileges of his post as Deputy Public Security Minister and head of China’s maritime police to receive bribes of up to 14.46 million yuan (US$ 2.1 million). He was fined 2 million yuan (US$ 290,000).

During the trial, Meng admitted to his guilt and collaborated with the authorities. He does not plan to appeal.

Meng has been involved in China’s public security for nearly 40 years, rising to the post of deputy minister.

In 2004 he became head of Interpol in China. In November 2016, he was appointed head of Interpol, the first Chinese to hold such a role in an international police body.

During a trip to China in October 2018, he was taken into police custody. In March 2019, he was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party.

Meng is one of the "tigers" targeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his campaign against corruption.

Seven years ago, another major figure in China’s security apparatus, Zhou Yongkang, was also arrested and convicted.

Meng’s wife Grace remained in Lyon, France, where Interpol is based.

She has asked the agency and French President Emmanuel Macron to help her husband, but her requests have fallen on deaf ears.

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