One of China’s former top spy chiefs gets life sentence for taking US$15.8 million in bribes, insider trading

By William Zheng
27 December, 2018

After four years in detention, Ma Jian, the former deputy head of China’s Ministry of State Security, was tried on Thursday at Dalian Intermediate Court in northeast China, where he was also fined 50.5 million yuan.

The court ordered the confiscation of all of Ma’s personal property and demanded the return of his ill-gotten gains.

The defendant confessed to the charges and said he would not appeal.

As deputy minister of the powerful state security ministry, a position to which he was appointed in 2006, Ma was in charge of China’s counter-espionage operations, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

The crimes for which he was convicted, however, spanned a 15-year period between 1999 and 2014, the court heard.

In that time, Ma accepted bribes totalling 109 million yuan in return for using his influence to benefit various associates, including the now fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui, the chairman of Beijing Zenith Holdings Co.