Xu Caihou, the Chinese military’s former second-highest ranking officer, who was being investigated by authorities for taking bribes and brokering promotions, died Sunday due to cancer. Military prosecutors decided not to sue Xu anymore, although they would have to deal with his illegal gains, Xinhua reported, citing a statement from the military procuratorate.
Xu died of advanced bladder cancer, which had spread throughout his body, leading to multiple organ failure, the Associated Press reported, citing Xinhua. The former official was expelled from the party in June and his rank as a general was revoked. Last year, officials announced that Xu was suffering from cancer, but had said that the case against him would continue.
Officials had finished the investigation on Xu’s bribery case on Oct. 27, 2014, and had begun the procedure to file the case, Xinhua reported.
The probe against Xu had started last year in March and officials suspected him of taking bribes "personally and through his family members." Huge amount of cash, jade, gems, paintings and rare antiques were found at Xu’s house in Beijing, AP reported, citing Hong Kong-based magazine Phoenix Weekly. The former top official was also accused of taking advantage of his position to promote people, Xinhua reported.
Xu could have reportedly faced a court martial and a death sentence for the offenses.
The investigation against Xu came amid a crackdown against corruption, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping, after he came to power in 2012.
Xu had served most of his career as a political advisory before 1999, when he was appointed to the Central Military Commission (CMC). He was named one of the three vice chairmen of CMC, where he worked until his retirement from the military in 2012.