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.
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...