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In China, Former Presidential Aide Gets Life In Prison Over Bribes And Corruption

Former Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Ling Jihua, seen here in 2013, was found guilty of accepting bribes and allowing his wife and son to benefit from corruption.

A Chinese court has sentenced a powerful former adviser to life in prison, in one of the highest-level cases in the country's anti-corruption campaign. Ling Jihua, who had been a close aide to former President Hu Jintao, will not appeal the ruling, according to state media.

From Beijing, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports:

"A court in the northern port city of Tianjin found Ling Jihua guilty of taking millions of dollars in bribes, obtaining classified information and abusing his office.

"Ling's role was equivalent to chief of staff to former President Hu Jintao. Because of the classified information charges, Ling was tried in secret.

"Besides corruption, state media have suggested that what really brought Ling down was that he led a rogue faction within the ruling communist party."

China's Xinhua news agency reports that Ling accepted some of the money and other benefits through his wife and his son.

The South China Morning Post reports on Ling's background:

"Ling, 59, was considered a rising political star until the death of his son Ling Gu in a mysterious Ferrari crash in downtown Beijing in 2012. Ling Jihua was later found to have tried to cover up the crash.

"He was later sidelined to head the Communist Party's United Front Work Department, a post he kept until his downfall in December 2014."

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