China's former Interpol chief pleads guilty to bribery

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 20 2019 02:40 PM

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

BEIJING -- Former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei pleaded guilty at a trial in China on Thursday to accepting $2.1 million in bribes -- a remarkable fall from grace for the former vice minister of public security.

Meng "showed repentance" during the hearing, said the Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People's Court in northern China.

The verdict will be announced at a "select date or time", it added in a statement on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform.

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 vanished last September during a visit to China from France, where Interpol is based, and was later accused of accepting bribes and expelled from the Communist Party.

In May, his wife Grace Meng was granted political asylum in France, after saying she was afraid she and her two children would be the targets of kidnapping attempts.