Former Interpol chief ‘pleads guilty’ to taking £1.65million in bribes in China

Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has pleaded guilty to accepting £1.65million in bribes at a court in China, state media has claimed.

Meng ‘showed repentance’ at the hearing at the Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People’s Court in northern China, with a verdict to be announced at a ‘select date or time’.

The former vice minister of public security vanished in September last year during a visit to China from his home in Lyon, France, where Interpol is based.

Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has pleaded guilty to accepting £1.65million in bribes at a court in China , state media has claimed

Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has pleaded guilty to accepting £1.65million in bribes at a court in China , state media has claimed

Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has pleaded guilty to accepting £1.65million in bribes at a court in China , state media has claimed

Shown on television wearing a plain brown windbreaker and flanked by two bailiffs, Meng appeared older and grayer than during his time as one of the nation’s top law enforcement officers. He has already been fired from his positions and kicked out of the Communist Party. 

In March, the party said its investigation into Meng found he spent ‘lavish’ amounts of state funds, abused his power and refused to follow party decisions.

‘Meng Hongwei made final remarks, and admitted guilt and expressed remorse to the court,’ the official People’s Daily said of the hearing.

Meng 'showed repentance' at the hearing at the Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People's Court in northern China, with a verdict to be announced at a 'select date or time'

Meng 'showed repentance' at the hearing at the Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People's Court in northern China, with a verdict to be announced at a 'select date or time'

Meng ‘showed repentance’ at the hearing at the Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People’s Court in northern China, with a verdict to be announced at a ‘select date or time’

The paper added that his alleged crimes in various posts, including when he was deputy minister of public security and head of China’s coast guard, went back to 2005.

Grace Hongwei, Meng’s wife, said she received a message from him shortly before he disappeared containing only a knife emoji, implying that he was in danger.

China subsequently admitted it had been holding Meng in detention for 12 days and said he was under investigation by an anti-corruption unit for unspecified crimes.

Just a few days after reports of Meng’s detention emerged, Interpol said it received a letter from him resigning from his position ‘with immediate effect’.

Meng is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping's (pictured) anti-graft campaign, which critics say has served as a way to remove the leader's political enemies

Meng is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping's (pictured) anti-graft campaign, which critics say has served as a way to remove the leader's political enemies

Meng is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping’s (pictured) anti-graft campaign, which critics say has served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies

Grace has since been granted asylum in France amid fears that she and her children will be the targets of kidnapping attempts.

She has also spoken out to say the charges against her husband are ‘politically motivated’.  

Meng is among a growing group of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign, which critics say has served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies. 

He has not been seen in public since his disappearance last year.  

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