24 Sep 2012

Ex-police chief jailed over scandal in China

9:30 pm on 24 September 2012

A court in the Chinese city of Chengdu has sentenced the former police chief at the centre of a political scandal to 15 years in jail.

Wang Lijun was convicted of crimes including defection, abuse of power and initially covering up the murder of a British businessman, the BBC reports.

In February, he fled to a United States consulate, alleging the wife of a prominent politician, Bo Xilai, had killed her business partner, Neil Heywood, in a dispute over money.

Wang Lijun was jailed for ''bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribetaking", the Xinhua state news agency says.

Mr Bo's wife was convicted in August of killing Mr Heywood. Wang was accused of helping in a cover up.

Wang had faced up to 20 years in jail, but prosecutors called his co-operation "meritorious service".

Speaking after the judge read out the verdict, Wang apologised for his crimes.

He told the court that he would not appeal the sentence, state media say.

The ''combined term'' of 15 years in prison included nine years for bribery, seven for bending the law, two for defection and two for abuse of power, state television reported.