The corruption investigation into a former Chinese deputy intelligence chief is proceeding, prosecutors said Monday, signaling President Xi Jinping’s determination to continue targeting high-level officials as part of his sweeping anti-graft campaign.
The supreme state prosecutor’s office said that Ma Jian, a former vice minister of state security, has been placed under “compulsory measures.”
The term can refer to arrest, detention, bail pending trial or house arrest. The proceedings in such investigations are shrouded in secrecy and Ma is believed to have already been under initial investigation for about two years.
Prosecutors say Ma, who was in charge of counterespionage, is suspected of having taken bribes in return for favors and abusing his position to help his relatives’ businesses. He’s also accused of interfering with law enforcement and judicial activities, secreting away money and property relating to his case, and arranging for exit permits for his family members.
Reports in the widely respected Chinese magazine Caixin, which were later reprinted by state media, said investigators found that Ma had been keeping six mistresses with whom he’d had a pair of sons, and owned a half-dozen mansions in Beijing.
Ma, who had worked in the Ministry of State Security for three decades, was expelled from the ruling Communist Party in December, placing him in line for prosecution and almost certain conviction.
High-level officials such as former Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang have received sentences of up to life in prison as President Xi seeks to purge the ruling party of corrupt officials seen as diminishing its standing among the public and weakening its mandate to rule.
Though broadly popular among the public, the campaign is seen by some as a tool for Xi to eliminate political rivals and strengthen his hold on power.