Ex-China spymaster Ma Jian jailed for life over graft

Ex-China spymaster Ma Jian was jailed for life over corruption. — AFP pic

Ex-China spymaster Ma Jian was jailed for life over corruption. — AFP pic

Guo, who was repeatedly named in the court's statement, is now a fugitive living in NY since he fled China in 2014.

Ma Jian, once one of the top secret police officials in China, was jailed for life by a court in Liaoning province on Thursday.

The Dalian Intermediate People's Court said in a statement on its website that it had reached the verdict on the grounds that Ma had taken a "particularly enormous" amount of bribes, and that his collaboration with Guo's company were "particularly serious".

He was ordered to pay more than 50 million yuan ($7.26 million) in penalties.

From 1999 to 2014, Ma used his position at the ministry to help Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui further his business interests, receiving over 109 million yuan ($15.9 million) in bribes, the court said, detailing several instances where the two had colluded.

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A Twitter page of exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui is seen on a computer screen in Beijing. As part of a sweeping probe into China's security apparatus, he was put under a graft investigation in 2015 and subsequently expelled from the ruling Communist Party.

Mr Guo gained control of a national securities company after Mr Ma sent letters addressed from the state security bureau to threaten and pressure individuals to hand over their shares to Mr Guo. Xi pledged to take down both high-level "tigers" and low-level "flies" in a drive to purge the ruling Communist Party of rampant corruption.

Ma had received more than 100 million yuan ($14.56 million) in property for his work and earned almost 5 million yuan from trading stocks based on insider information, the court said. Guo could not immediately be reached for comment.

During his time with the ministry, Ma was in charge of the country's counter-espionage operations, according to the South China Morning Post.

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