China’s former deputy public security minister has been removed from his post and expelled from the Communist Party for corruption, the country’s anti-graft body said Thursday.
Sun Lijun, who oversaw security in Hong Kong during months of unrest, had been under investigation since last year.
The 52-year-old was found to have “received a large quantity of valuable items” and handed out “jobs to cronies” among a litany of violations, according to a statement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
The commission said Sun’s “political ambition was extremely inflated”, accusing him of “fabricating and disseminating political rumours”, and “showing outward agreement but inner opposition.”
He was further accused of keeping a personal stash of confidential documents, absconding from his pandemic-fighting duties and paying for sex.
Sun was appointed director of the Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan office under the Ministry of Public Security in December 2017.
Hong Kong was shaken by widespread and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests in 2019 prompting the imposition by Beijing last year of a national security law for the semi-autonomous city, and a crackdown on media and speech.
Sun is among a growing number of Communist Party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, which critics say has also served as a way to remove the leader’s political enemies.
The CCDI on Thursday said that – in addition to being expelled from the party and removed from public office – Sun would face further investigation and prosecution, where he could face criminal penalties.