Chinese official jailed for paying off sex tape blackmailers
Lei Zhengfu attempted to pay £330,000 in hush money to developers who ran a sex-tape extortion scheme
Oliver Duggan has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London. He works as a freelance reporter and editorial assistant for The Independent and i with a focus on Home Affairs and politics.
Friday 28 June 2013
A Chinese official who gained notoriety when he was caught in a sex tape scandal last year has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery.
Lei Zhengfu, the former party chief of a metropolitan district in south-central China, was convicted of taking more than 3.1m yuan (£330,000) in bribes at a court in Chongqing today.
The case, which comes at a time when China’s new generation of leaders has vowed to crack down on systemic corruption, attracted international attention after footage of the 55-year-old having sex with a 25-year-old prostitute went viral online.
The leak was allegedly part of an elaborate plan to extort money from more than 20 Chinese officials, with women supposedly recruited by property developers to ensnare useful politicians.
The court heard that when blackmailed with the footage, Lei asked another property developer whom he had supported before to pay hush money of 3 million yuan.
Prosecutors also said Lei took two other bribes — one of $10,000 (£6,600) and another of 100,000 yuan (£10,400) — in return for favors granted through his government position.
“The sums involved were massive, and the effects were malign,” said the verdict read out to Mr. Lei, according to China’s state-run news agency. “This should be sternly punished according to the law.”
Beijing Institute of Technology law professor Xu Xin said the punishment, which also includes the confiscation of Lei’s personal assets, was more severe than those in similar corruption cases.
“Maybe because of the case's social impact, the court has chosen to be on the harsh end with its sentence,” he said.
In a separate case, the man convicted of masterminding the property developer’s plan, businessman Xiao Ye, was today sentenced to 10 years in prison. The woman in the sex tape, Zhao Hongxia, was given a suspended two-year sentence.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland votes Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...