Sun Zhengcai, the former Party leader of western Chinese megacity Chongqing who was once thought of as a potential candidate for China’s highest political offices, pleaded guilty to accepting $27 million in bribes yesterday at a trial in Tianjin, the South China Morning Post reports.
The hearing at the Tianjin First Intermediate People’s Court took just half a day. Sun was quoted as saying he “had only himself to blame,” according to a statement released by the court.
The court will announce the verdict and sentence later, state newswire Xinhua announced, without specifying the exact date this will occur.
The 54-year-old former political high-flyer was sacked from his position as leader of Chongqing in July and placed under investigation for corruption during the run-up to the 19th National Party Congress in October.
Sun was accused of taking bribes worth up to $27 million dating back to his time as head of a district in Beijing in 2002. However, his downfall also appears to be linked to political differences between him and the leadership in Beijing.
Sun was replaced as boss of Chongqing by Chen Miner, a close ally of President Xi Jinping, who accused the disgraced former leader of “complying in appearance but opposing in his heart” central government policies.