BEINJING - China’s former justice minister Fu Zhenghua, who spearheaded several corruption-fighting campaigns, has been jailed for bribery. Fu pleaded guilty in July to accepting 117 million yuan ($14.7m; $16.5m) in gifts and money for personal gain.

On Thursday, a court in Changchun gave him a death sentence to be commuted to life in prison after two years.

His conviction comes amid a sudden crackdown on officials ahead of a key Communist Party congress next month.

China’s ruling party holds the event once every five years and this time President Xi Jinping is expected to be given a historic third term and consolidate his hold on power.

Fu’s jailing on Thursday follows the sentencing of three other former provincial police chiefs this week. All four men are not only accused of corruption but also of being disloyal to Mr Xi.

They are all alleged to have been part of a political circle led by another ex-security figurehead, Sun Lijun. Sun, who is currently awaiting his sentence, was said to have created his own political faction through helping elevate other officials in the security apparatus.