Top Chinese general facing graft charges dies of cancer

Mar 16, 2015, 11:29 IST | PTI

Beijing: Retired general Xu Caihou, the most senior Chinese military official to fall under President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive, has died of cancer.

Xu Caihou, 71, a former Vice Chairman of the China's Central Military Commission (CMC) -- the highest military body that commands the all three armed forces -- died in a hospital yesterday of advanced bladder cancer that had spread throughout his body and led to multiple organ failure, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 5, 2012 shows then-Chongqing Mayor Bo Xilai (L) listening to Xu Caihou, then-vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, during the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The highest-ranking Chinese military officer to fall under President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive, Xu Caihou, has died of cancer, official media reported on March 16, 2015. Pic/ AFP

Xu was put under investigation for bribery in March last year. He served as the Vice Chairman of the CMC under former President Hu Jintao who headed the top military body.

In October, the military procuratorate finished its investigation into Xu's case and transferred all evidence in preparation for prosecution. Xu was also expelled from the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and discharged from military service with his rank as General revoked.

According to China's Criminal Procedure Law, the military procuratorate will drop all charges against Xu following his death. His illegal assets acquired through bribery and corruption will be handled in accordance with the law, Xinhua report said.

In October, military prosecutors said that General Xu had confessed to taking "particularly huge bribes" either in person or through family members, in exchange for promotions and other favours, which were not specified.

Xu was part of 30 top military officials, which included 14 senior generals in charge of various commands. They were held in the massive anti-corruption drive launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping after he took over power in 2013.

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