Zhou Yongkang former China security chief
The former Chinese security chief Zhou Yongkang has been charged with bribery, intentional disclosure of state secrets and abuse of power (Jason Lee/Reuters)

The former domestic security chief of China, Zhou Yongkang, will stand trial on corruption charges, the country's prosecutors have said.

He was arrested in December last year and was charged on 3 April with bribery, the intentional disclosure of state secrets and abuse of power.

The decision to prosecute the 72-year-old, one of the most powerful officials in China until 2012, is in line with President Xi Jinping's stated commitment to fight corruption at the highest level.

According to a statement by China's Supreme People's Procuratorate, the state prosecutor, the allegations against Yongkang were: "Extraordinarily severe. The defendant Zhou Yongkang… took advantage of his posts to seek gains for others and illegally took huge property and assets from others, abused his power, causing huge losses to public property and the interests of the state and the people."

A Reuters report stated Zhou was allegedly involved in various criminal activities that took place when he was deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation, the party boss in southwestern Sichuan province, minister of public security and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee.

Even though Zhou's case was transferred to a court in Tianjin, which is close to Beijing, no date has been mentioned regarding his trial. However, Reuters reported that state media said "China would hold an 'open trial' in an attempt to show transparency".

The former domestic security chief is one of the most powerful figures to have been singled out in Jinping's campaign to combat corruption.

Zhou's alleged crimes span decades. He had an illustrious career as a party official and an oil executive, and served five years on the Politburo Standing Committee. There he wielded immense power by overseeing courts, the police, domestic security forces and the state intelligence apparatus.