Ex-Chinese public security official gets suspended death sentence

A Chinese court has sentenced a former vice minister of public security to death, with a two-year reprieve. The charges against Sun Lijun include bribery.

China Central Television says the court, located in the northeastern province of Jilin, ruled on Friday that Sun took 646 million yuan, or about 91 million dollars, in bribes between 2001 and 2020.

He was also convicted of illegally possessing two firearms.

Observers say the government is purging former senior police and judiciary officials who have been critical of President Xi Jinping. The move is seen as an attempt to consolidate power ahead of the Communist Party National Congress in October.

Three former police chiefs of Shanghai, Chongqing and Shanxi province were convicted on charges including corruption earlier this week. All were allegedly members of Sun's political group.

And on Thursday, former justice minister Fu Zhenghua was also given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve on charges including corruption.