Zhou, 73, was sentenced to life imprisonment by Tianjin Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court after the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) charged him with the offences in April, breaking decades-old practice of not prosecuting retired top communist party leaders.

Zhou admitted his guilt following a secret trial in the northern city of Tianjin, about 120 km from here on May 22 and will not appeal, state-run Xinhua news agency reported about the verdict that was also read out on state television.

A glum looking Zhou with un-dyed hair was shown on the state television being brought to the court by police and later intently listened to the judgement read out to him.

Charged with disclosure of state secrets, this trial was not open to the public, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The close aide of former President Hu Jintao was convicted for accepting bribes to the tune of about 130million yuan (USD 21.3 million), abusing power and deliberately disclosing state secrets.

Dubbed as a security czar for being the powerful Security Minister, Zhou was part of the nine-member Standing Committee of the ruling (CPC), the highest decision making body of the party from 2007 to 2012.

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