A murder case involving the execution-style slaying of a family of four in the US may finally have been solved thanks to the corruption case against disgraced former top Chinese politician Zhou Yongkang, reports the Chinese-language news portal of Radio France Internationale.

Zhou, the retired Politburo Standing Committee member with heavy influence over the country’s oil sector, has admitted sending an assassin to kill the family, the website reported.

The website cited a report in Hong Kong’s Sun newspaper stating that Sun Maoye, an engineer living in Houston, was shot along with his wife and two children last year. The case remained unsolved, the Sun reported. The latest issue of Boxun magazine revealed however that there had been a break in the case that shook the Chinese community in the US, related to China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, the website stated. While in detention Zhou is said to have admitted to sending an assassin to murder the family, the website added.

Sun Maoye died because he knew too much about Zhou’s corrupt activities, the Sun reported. Sun worked in the oil industry before his death and had worked on China National Petroleum Corporation’s purchases of US oil wells and oil extraction equipment. Zhou headed CNPC between 1996 and 1998. Sun also had close ties to many of the staff and pupils at China University of Petroleum, where he studied in the 1980s, including then CNPC chair Jiang Jiemin, the website reported. Jiang was expelled from the Communist Party last year and handed over to judicial authorities in March.

While Sun was studying for his doctoral degree in Texas, he became acquainted with Zhou Yongkang’s eldest son Zhou Bin, who was also studying in Texas. Over the next few decades, CNPC purchases of oil wells and oil extraction equipment became a major source of illicit revenue for Zhou’s family, the website reported.

Sun is reported to have held assets for the Zhou family in the US and to have held a lot of classified documents for Zhou Yongkang, given to him by Zhou Bin, the website stated.

Zhou is thought to have had Sun assassinated to get rid of any evidence against him, the website stated.

Zhou was placed under detention in 2013, though this was not officially confimed until June last year. In December it was announced that Zhou would face criminal charges and had been expelled from the party. Last month he was charged with bribery, abuse of power and the intentional disclosure of state secrets.

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