Tue | Sep 22, 2020

China sentences ex-boss of Interpol to 13 years for bribes

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 4:44 PM
In this July 4, 2017 file photo, Interpol President Meng Hongwei delivers his opening address at the Interpol World Congress in Singapore. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced the former president of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting more than $2 million in bribes.

Meng was elected president of the international police organisation in 2016, but his four-year term was cut short when he vanished after travelling to China from France in late 2018.

Interpol was not informed and was forced to make a formal request to China for information about Meng’s whereabouts amid suspicion he had fallen out of political favour with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Meng’s wife, who remains in France with their two children, has accused Chinese authorities of lying and questioned whether her husband was still alive.

Grace Meng is now suing Interpol, accusing it of failing to protect him from arrest in China and failing to look after his family.

Meng’s lawyers last year filed a legal complaint in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands.

A statement Tuesday from the No. 1 Intermediary Court in the northern city of Tianjin said Meng accepted the verdict and would not appeal.

In addition to his prison sentence, he was fined 2 million yuan ($290.000) .

It said Meng, 66, admitted he abused his position to accept 14.4 million yuan ($2.1 million) in bribes while serving in various offices, including as a vice minister of public security and maritime police chief, often in exchange for favours and using his influence with other officials.

Meng has already been fired from his positions and expelled from the Communist Party.

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