Beijing, Feb 13 (PTI) A former senior Communist Party leader, accused of being part of a coup against President Xi Jinping, has been charged with with bribery and corruption, China’s top prosecutor said today.

Sun Zhengcai, a former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has been charged with bribery, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said.

The first branch of the Tianjin People’s Procuratorate had delivered the indictment paper to the First Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin.

Sun is also a member of previous Politburo of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) during Xi’s first tenure.

The Chinese President, who is also head of the CPC and military began his second five-year tenure last year, following a national Congress of the CPC.

Sun was removed from the post of the head of the Congress in October last year.

Before the Congress, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission Liu Shiyu had said Xi has foiled a coup plot by former political heavy weights who were at the receiving end of his high-profile anti-graft campaign.

Liu has been accused a string of disgraced cadres of plotting to capture power, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported in October last year.

Among those who were named named was, Sun, who along with his wife were summarily removed by Xi. Both were taken away for disciplinary investigations, the Post reported.

Sun is accused of taking advantage of his posts to seek profits for others and illegally accepted huge amounts of money and property during several positions held by him including as the Agriculture Minister, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The prosecutors have informed Sun of his litigation rights, interrogated him, and listened to his lawyer’s opinions, the SPP said.

A high profile anti-corruption campaign launched by Xi which began five years ago, has led to the downfall of a number of high-level officials. Xi’s critics also allege that he has used the campaign against his rivals.

Since last year’s Congress several officials at or above deputy ministerial level and senior military officials have been investigated or punished, including former Chinese military chief of staff Fang Fenghui, and Lu Wei, former deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, as well as vice governors of Shaanxi, Shandong and Jiangxi provinces.

Last year, nearly 450 people were probed and punished for fraudulent claims or misappropriation of funds and 730 million yuan of misused funds recouped, the Xinhua report said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.