Zhou Yongkang, a retired Chinese government official who oversaw Chinese domestic security. Zhou Yongkang was one of only nine members on the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, effectively the highest level of Chinese government. Of the charges Zhou faces the more serious are for extortion, but he also had an affair during his first marriage and may have ordered his wife killed.
Chinese authorities have seized 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) in assets from Zhou’s relatives, political allies, and business associates. With hundreds of these individuals being taken into custody and interrogated over the past four months. The sheer size of the investigation and the prominence of Zhou provide clout to China’s anti corruption campaign. Also in the face of China’s police system where internal corruption abuses are prevalent and investigations go unreported the transparency of this case is somewhat unique and instructive as to how future corruption scandals will be handled.