from a longer news article about Security Chief who got life imprisonment:
Zhou’s actions “inflicted enormous damage to public finances and the interests of the nation and the people,” the court said in an explanation of the verdict on its website.
While the charges potentially mandated a death sentence, it said Zhou received leniency after confessing and showing repentance and ordering his relatives to hand over the majority of their ill-gotten gains.
Although the charges of abuse of power and leaking state secrets were serious, they had not resulted in any major consequences, the court said. The court said Zhou had passed state secrets to his Qigong master, a kind of spiritual mentor, though it did not detail the secrets or say what the master had done with the information.
Zhou is the highest-ranking former politician to face court since the 1981 treason trial of Mao Zedong’s wife and other members of the “Gang of Four” who persecuted political opponents during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.