BEIJING: China’s leaders on Thursday handed former military leader Guo Boxiong to prosecutors over accusations of corruption, state media reported, in the latest high-profile scalp claimed in a major government anti-graft crackdown.
Guo has also been expelled from the Communist Party over claims he took bribes in exchange for granting military promotions, Xinhua reported, citing the party’s Central Committee’s Political Bureau.
The 73-year-old, who served as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission in the decade through 2012, is reportedly among the most senior military figures to be toppled in China’s anti-corruption drive.
“Investigations found that Guo took advantage of his post to seek promotions and benefits for others and accepted bribes personally or through his family,” Xinhua said.
Guo’s prosecution — which comes ahead of the 88th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese army on Saturday — was widely expected after he was placed under investigation in April.
The handing of his case to military prosecutors means he will almost certainly face trial, with a guilty sentence and jail term almost guaranteed to follow.
His prosecution comes as part of a high-profile crackdown on graft by current President Xi Jinping that has already deposed several senior officials, notably former security chief Zhou Yongkang.
“No matter what power one holds or how high one’s position is, if a person violates Party rules and law, he or she should be hunted down without compromise and without mercy,” said the government statement, quoted by Xinhua.
An editorial in the state-backed People’s Daily said the fall of Guo “demonstrated (the) Chinese leadership’s determination in purging corruption.”
“The anti-corruption sword must be raised high to cut the bud of corruption and make the corrupt pay a price,” it said in excerpts published on Xinhua.