No Sentence Yet For Former Interpol President Charged With Power Abuse

Meng Hongwei
Interpol President Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon, France, May 8, 2018. (Photo: Jeff Pachoud/Pool via Reuters/File Picture)

Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei will receive his sentencing at a later date following his appearance at Tianjin No 1 Intermediate People's Court on Thursday where he pled guilty to bribery charges.

Chinese media reported that state-run outlet People's Daily confirmed Meng's admission of abusing his various past positions he headed from 2005 to 2015 as a means of accepting bribes in exchange for his assistance.

 Some spectators have been waiting to know what the Chinese court will decide on for Meng's sentencing but the court said the former policing agency chief's sentence will come later.

Meng was last seen last September in France and his wife reported in October to French authorities that her husband was missing. Before Grace Meng filed a report regarding her husband, the former Interpol chief sent a message to her through social media, saying, "wait for my call."

Earlier this year, France granted asylum to Meng's wife despite the circumstances surrounding her husband's case. Shortly after the asylum grant was revealed, Chinese prosecutors said Meng was formally arrested.

In March, Meng was expelled from being a member of the Communist Party following reports that he was suspected of taking bribes. China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said last year that Meng was being investigated on grounds related to bribery.

Political analysts noted that a conviction is assured now that Meng has confessed to his violations. Some are expecting a lighter verdict due to his expression of regret for what he committed.

According to the Associated Press, Meng reportedly expressed regret for the times he accepted bribes. However, some experts noted that China has handed out life sentences to people who committed similar crimes in the past.

It is also worth noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping himself is spearheading the crackdown against corrupt Chinese officials and those who are disloyal to the country.

Meng's wife reportedly questioned the validity of the figure she was on TV in court, stating that she isn't sure it was her husband. She also said authorities came up with a "fake case" due to politically-triggered reasons.

Meng was shown on television during his court appearance on Thursday wherein he was seen wearing a brown windbreaker. He stood in the middle of two bailiffs, with graying hair and an older appearance.

Meng is the first Chinese official to have headed the Interpol. He was elected to lead the global policing agency in 2016 and he was Vice Minister of Public Security at the China Coast Guard until he was arrested.

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