Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei pleaded guilty to corruption at the beginning of his trial in China. Meng admitted to accepting $ 2.1 million (1.86 million) in bribes during the hearing, the court-martial in northeastern China’s Tianjin City said today in the Chinese short message service Weibo.
Former Chinese Deputy Minister of Public Security Meng has „shown remorse in court,“ it said. The verdict against him will be announced later, the court wrote.
Disappeared in China
Meng disappeared in September 2018 during a visit to China. He previously lived in Lyon, the headquarters of the international police department in France. Later, the Chinese authorities said he had been accused of corruption and resigned from his post at the head of Interpol.
He was also expelled from the Communist Party. The allegations relate to Meng’s time as Chief of Naval Police and Deputy Minister of Public Security in China.
Official campaign of China
The allegations against Meng came in the midst of an anti-corruption campaign by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the ranks of senior Chinese party cadres. Critics see in the campaign a strategy Xis to get rid of political opponents.
In May, France granted Meng’s wife Grace and her two children political asylum. China had then accused France of „abuse“ of the asylum procedure customary in France. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the prosecution of Meng Hongwei was a „classic criminal case“ rather than a so-called political persecution.