Son, wife of China's former domestic security tsar jailed for graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - The son and wife of former Chinese domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang have been jailed for corruption, state media said on Wednesday, the latest high-profile figures to be felled in President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign.

Zhou Yongkang, China's former domestic security chief, attends his sentence hearing in a court in Tianjin, China, in this still image taken from video provided by China Central Television and shot on June 11, 2015. REUTERS/China Central Television via REUTERS TV

Zhou’s son, Zhou Bin, who had business interests in the energy sector, was jailed for 18 years for taking bribes and engaging in illegal business operations, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhou Bin had eluded a warrant for his arrest and fled to the United States in early 2013, sources told Reuters in 2014.

He returned to China after negotiations with Chinese authorities, the sources said. It was not clear whether he had retained a lawyer.

Zhou Yongkang’s wife, Jia Xiaoye, a former state television journalist, was jailed for nine years and fined 1 million yuan ($150,000) for taking bribes, the Intermediate People’s Court of Yichang, a city in Hubei province, said on its microblog.

She will not appeal, the court said in its statement after a closed trial. It was also not clear if she had retained a lawyer.

Zhou Yongkang was a member of the party’s elite Politburo Standing Committee and once among China’s most powerful officials.

But he became embroiled in China’s biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades - the most senior leader targeted in a corruption investigation since the Communist Party took power in 1949 - and was jailed for life in 2015.

Dozens of his associates have also been arrested, many in the southern province of Sichuan, where he was Communist Party boss from 1999 to 2002.

Sources first told Reuters in 2014 that Jia had been detained along with more than 10 of Zhou’s relatives.

Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has felled dozens of officials, including many of his top political opponents.

Reporting By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Robert Birsel