A Chinese court recently handed down the death penalty to former Justice Minister Fu Zhenghua for corruption involving $16 million, with a two-year grace period.
According to reports, Fu, 67, was found guilty by the Changchun Intermediate People’s Court in the province of Jilin in northeast China. The court ruled that the death penalty might be overturned after two years of incarceration.
Former Justice Minister Fu was accused of “taking advantage” of his position between 2005 and 2021, during which time he allegedly accepted bribes totaling more than 117 million yuan (approximately $16.76 million) and “bent the law for personal gain.” Fu served as Justice Minister from March 2018 to April 2020. The article claims that the court permanently stripped Fu of his political rights and confiscated all of his belongings.
According to the court’s judgment, as published by the Chinese state news agency CGTN, Fu’s sentence may be commuted from the death penalty to life in prison by the law, but he will receive no further reduction or release.
During his time as chief of the Beijing Public Security Bureau in 2014 and 2015, the court determined that Fu had hidden evidence related to a significant crime perhaps committed by his brother, Fu Weihua. The court ruled that Fu Weihua was able to evade prosecution for a significant amount of time because of the cover-up.
It went on to say that Fu had taken “large sums of bribes” and committed “especially serious crimes,” which had “great loss to the interests of the state and people” and “a particularly terrible social impact.” The court did note that Fu, who had served as Justice minister last year, and was now part of the CPPCC’s Committee on Social and Legal Affairs, was given a “lenient sentence” because he “confessed to all his crimes and pled guilty during the investigation, provided clues for important cases, and had been cooperative in returning his illegal gains.”