The former top aide to Hu Jintao, the one-time President of China, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for taking bribes.

Ling Jihua served as the top aide to Hu between 2007-2012. He was demoted after his son died in a scandalous car accident in 2012, which he allegedly tried to cover up.

The Tianjin First Intermediate People’s Court. Photo:

The Tianjin First Intermediate People’s Court found Ling Jihua guilty of accepting bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abusing his power, according to state mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and will be dispossessed of his personal property. Ling expressed in court that he accepted the decision and said he will not appeal.

Ling Jihua.

Lin was placed under investigation for “suspected serious disciplinary violation” in December 2014. He was one of the highest-ranking officials to be targeted by President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

Because his case involved state secrets, the court decided to hold a non-public trial in June, said Xinhua.

Catherine Lai

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.