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Ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei sentenced to jail in China for bribes

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By Alastair Jamieson  & AP
Meng Hongwei pictured in 2017 at the Interpol World Congress
Meng Hongwei pictured in 2017 at the Interpol World Congress   -   Copyright  (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)   -   Wong Maye-E

China has sentenced former Interpol president Meng Hongwei, who disappeared during an overseas trip, to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting bribes.

Meng was elected president of the international police organization in 2016, but his four-year term was cut short when he vanished after traveling to China last October.

Interpol was not informed and was forced to make a formal request to China for information about Meng's whereabouts amid suspicion he had fallen out of political favor with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Meng's wife, who remains in France with their two children, has accused Chinese authorities of lying and questioned whether her husband was even still alive.

A notice issued on Tuesday by the No. 1 Intermediary Court in Tianjin said Meng accepted the verdict and would not appeal.

The court said abused his positions, including as a vice minister of public security and maritime police chief, to curry favor for others in return for bribes.

Meng had already been fired from his positions and expelled from the Communist Party. While serving at Interpol, Meng retained his title as China's vice minister of public security.

Meng's wife has indicated that she intends to sue Interpol for being complicit in China's "wrongful acts". Representatives acting on her behalf submitted a claim to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in April last year.