Beijing has expelled its high-profile former justice minister and deputy police chief from the ruling Communist party, denouncing him as being “extremely despicable” and accusing him of befriending “political frauds”.
Fu Zhenghua – who had reportedly helped bring down China’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang a few years ago – has been removed from public office over serious violations of party discipline and laws, said the state news agency Xinhua in a brief announcement that attributed the decisions to Beijing’s top anti-graft body.
The Chinese version of Thursday’s announcement – which has since been widely publicised across China’s tightly controlled media – hinted Fu’s case was related to that of Sun Lijun, who was last year accused of extreme “political ambition” and leading a corrupt and extravagant life.
“[Fu has] never been loyal to the party and the people; [he has] participated in Sun Lijun’s political gang; [he has] befriended several ‘political frauds’ for a long time,” the announcement said.
Last October Fu was placed under investigation for “serious violations”. Dr Ling Li, an expert in Chinese politics and law at the University of Vienna, said that the fact that the case had now been transferred to the procuratorate for prosecution “shows that the investigator is satisfied with whatever evidence they have obtained for the criminal charge and the prosecution”.
Once a rising political star, Fu, 67, was appointed in 2013 to lead the investigation into China’s former security chief Zhou, who was jailed for life in 2015 for abuse of power and corruption. Fu’s role was regarded by some Chinese politics observers to possibly indicate a close relationship with the top leader, Xi Jinping.