BEIJING (Reuters) – A former senior Chinese security official, censured last year by the ruling Communist Party for not embracing President Xi Jinping’s authority, was charged for gun possession, market manipulation and graft, China’s top prosecutor said on Thursday.

Sun Lijun, who was vice minister of public security when probes against him began in 2020, had abused his positions in that and a previous role to benefit others in exchange for “exceptionally huge” bribes, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on its official Weibo account.

Sun, 53, also faced criminal charges for illegal gun possession and manipulation of the securities market, the notice said, without giving details.

Last September, the party’s disciplinary and anti-graft watchdog said that Sun had forsaken the “Two Upholds” – upholding the authority of the party’s central committee and Xi’s core position in it – and was kicked out of the party.

The watchdog also said that Sun harboured inflated political ambitions, made inappropriate comments about the party’s policy direction, spread political rumours, endangered political security, formed cliques to grow his personal influence and “seriously destroyed” party unity.

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China’s Communist Party will hold a key once-in-five-years congress later this year, where Xi is expected to secure a precedent-breaking third term as China’s leader.

(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Tony Munroe & Simon Cameron-Moore)

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