China accuses former Interpol chief of corruption

29 Mar 19

China is to prosecute the former head of Interpol on corruption charges after authorities accused him of spending “lavish” amounts of state funds and abusing his power.

The country’s anti-corruption watchdog claimed that Meng Hongwei had also refused to follow Communist Party decisions, Reuters reported.

It has not been possible for journalists to reach Meng for comment – and it remains unclear whether he has been allowed a lawyer – but he is certain to be found guilty because the Chinese courts are controlled by the party.

Last October Interpol announced that the president of the global police coordination agency based in France had resigned just days after his wife reported him missing during a trip he had made back to China.

On Wednesday, the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection accused Meng of taking bribes and damaging the party’s image and state interests.

It issued its statement after China’s president, Xi Jinping, returned from a state visit to France where President Emmanuel Macron had raised the issue of human rights, said a French presidency official.

Meng’s wife, Grace, told French television ahead of Xi’s trip she had written to Macron seeking his help.China’s anti-corruption body said Meng Hongwei had “refused to enact decisions of the party centre” and abused his power for private gain. He “wantonly and lavishly spent state funds to satisfy his family’s luxurious lifestyle”.

It accused Meng of using his position to help his wife get a job and illegally took a “huge amount of possessions” from other people in exchange for help with promotions”, without giving details.

Meng’s appointment to Interpol in late 2016 came as China widened efforts to secure leadership posts in international organisations, prompting concern among rights groups that Beijing might leverage his position to pursue dissidents abroad. The country’s anti-corruption watchdog claimed that Meng Hongwei had also refused to follow Communist Party decisions, Reuters reported.

It has not been possible for journalists to reach Meng for comment – and it remains unclear whether he has been allowed a lawyer – but he is certain to be found guilty because the Chinese courts are controlled by the party.

Last October Interpol announced that the president of the global police coordination agency based in France had resigned just days after his wife reported him missing during a trip he had made back to China.

On Wednesday, the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection accused Meng of taking bribes and damaging the party’s image and state interests.

It issued its statement after China’s president, Xi Jinping, returned from a state visit to France where President Emmanuel Macron had raised the issue of human rights, said a French presidency official.

Meng’s wife, Grace, told French television ahead of Xi’s trip she had written to Macron seeking his help.China’s anti-corruption body said Meng Hongwei had “refused to enact decisions of the party centre” and abused his power for private gain. He “wantonly and lavishly spent state funds to satisfy his family’s luxurious lifestyle”.

It accused Meng of using his position to help his wife get a job and illegally took a “huge amount of possessions” from other people in exchange for help with promotions”, without giving details.

Meng’s appointment to Interpol in late 2016 came as China widened efforts to secure leadership posts in international organisations, prompting concern among rights groups that Beijing might leverage his position to pursue dissidents abroad.

  • Gavin O'Toole, expert on Latin America
    Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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