20 June 2019
Chinese authorities say the former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has admitted his guilt after going on trial for taking more than $2m in bribes. The court adjourned and announced that Meng would be sentenced later.
Mr Meng, who was the first Chinese head of Interpol, disappeared on a trip back to China from France last September.
He served as Vice-Minister of Public Security from 2004 until 2018. He served as Director of the Maritime Police Bureau and Deputy Director of China’s State Oceanic Administration from 2013 until 2017. In April 2018, without explanation, he was relieved of his membership of the Communist Party committee at the Ministry of Public Security.
In 2004, Meng became the head of Interpol’s China branch.
Once a rising star in the party he rose up to become a member of the People’s Political Consultative Conference. He was elected as President of Interpol on 10 November 2016, becoming the first Chinese to hold this post. He resigned from Interpol in October 2018.
On 26 October, Meng was removed from the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body. On 27 March 2019, he was expelled from the Communist Party and removed from all posts. On 24 April 2019, a statement said that he was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes. On 20 June 2019, Meng has pleaded guilty for accepting bribes over $2.11 million dollars.
He was accused of abusing his position and power for personal gain, squandering state funds to finance his family’s extravagant lifestyle, and disregarding the principles of being a party member. He was also accused of encouraging his wife to use his status to further her own interests.
The wife of Meng Hongwei and their two young boys were granted asylum in France.
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