Former leading Chinese general Fang suspected of bribery

Chinese state media say a former chief of the People's Liberation Army's joint staff department has been referred to military prosecutors on suspicion of bribery.

The official Xinhua News Agency says Fang Fenghui's case was transferred Tuesday to the PLA's criminal prosecution body, a move that virtual ensures his conviction at court martial. Xinhua says he's suspected of both giving and taking bribes, formerly a common route to winning promotion and potentially enormous riches.

Fang dropped out of public view last fall, leading to speculation that he was the latest top military official to fall prey to President Xi Jinping's wide-ranging crackdown on corruption.

Three former top generals have already been ensnared in corruption probes, including one who died of cancer before trial and another who committed suicide.