Former Chinese Internet czar sentenced to 14 years in prison for bribery

Former Chinese Internet czar pictured speaking at the opening ceremony of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province on November 19, 2014. 

DHARAMSALA, March 27: A Chinese court has sentenced the country’s former internet czar to 14 years in prison for bribery.

Former Chinese Minister of Cyberspace Affairs Administration(CAC), Lu Wei, was announced the 14 years’ jail sentence after he was found guilty of corruption by Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court in eastern China on Tuesday, reports CNN.

Lu Wei, who once headed the country’s powerful cyberspace administration, had accepted bribes worth more than 32 million yuan ($4.8 million) by abusing his power in various government posts over 15 years from 2002 to 2017, the report said citing the court statement.

The communist regime’s former internet czar left the CAC in 2016 and a year later, the Chinese authorities confirmed that he is being investigated.

Lu, 59, was one of the numerous senior officials caught up in President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-graft campaign and the first high-ranking corruption target during Xi Jinping’s second term as head of the Chinese Communist party.

In February 2018, he was expelled from the Communist Party and dismissed from public office. Lu was charged in July 2018 of bribery by the Chinese authorities and It is understood that Lu had accepted the court’s verdict and would not appeal.

Internet in China is being heavily censored and regulated under the Communist Party’s cyber-security law. The content on the internet is being routinely censored to weed out issues the party deems sensitive and taboo.

Social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are blocked in China along with google search engine and major foreign media outlets.

Amidst China’s heightened clampdown on the internet under Xi Jinping, China has also issued a stringent regulation on Virtual Private Networks(VPN) to crack down on the use of software which allows users to get around its heavy internet censorship; the great firewall.

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