BEIJING, September 24 (RIA Novosti)
Wang Lijun, the former police chief in the Chinese city of Chongqing, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the scandal that brought down his ex-boss, disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, the Xinhau news agency reported on Monday.
Wang, who briefly took refuge at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in February, was found guilty of abusing his authority, desertion and taking bribes totaling $484,000.
Prosecutors had accused Wang of covering up evidence implicating Bo’s wife Gu Kailai of involvement in the murder last year of a U.K. citizen, Neil Heywood.
Gu, who received a suspended death sentence in August, was found guilty of poisoning Heywood in an effort to protect her son over a business deal that had soured.
When Heywood died last November, Gu’s husband Bo was the Communist Party chief in Chongqing and held a seat in the 25-member Politburo. He has since been stripped of his official posts and faces disciplinary action over “violations of party regulations,” according to Chinese state media.
China is expected to hold a party congress in the next few weeks in order to choose the country’s new leadership, but so far no official date has been set.
Wang, who became Chongqing's police chief in 2009, gained national prominence for a crackdown on organized crime that resulted in the arrest of thousands of people, including his predecessor, Wen Qiang.
The Chongqing municipality had a population of nearly 29 million in 2010.
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