Ex-Interpol chief pleads guilty to corruption, China says

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Meng Hongwei was elected Interpol president in November 2016

China says the former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has admitted his guilt after going on trial for taking more than $2m (£1.6m) in bribes.

State media said the court in Tianjin would give its verdict at a later date.

Mr Meng, who was the first Chinese head of Interpol, vanished on a trip back to China from France last September.

The Communist Party later confirmed that he'd been detained as part of President Xi Jinping's drive against corruption.

Mr Meng's wife, who is in France, has said the charges against him are politically motivated.

In May, she was granted political asylum in France, over her fears that she and her children might get kidnapped.

Media caption,
In 2018, Grace Meng said "cruel" China was persecuting her husband

The 65-year-old, who had been living in France, resigned as Interpol president after being detained by the Chinese authorities.

Mr Meng's disappearance in September prompted international concern.

In October, Chinese authorities said Mr Meng was being investigated over suspected bribe-taking.

He has also been expelled from the party and stripped of all government positions, according to the party's watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).