Sex tape official jailed in China—Xinhua


In this June 19, 2013 photo, a woman holds up a sign which reads “Corrupt official falls off the horse, Common People celebrate, Report on corrupt officials who fall through the net” outside the court where the first trial of Lei Zhengfu, former Communist Party chief of a local district, who was involved in sex tape scandal, will be held in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. (AP Photo)

BEIJING—A former Chinese government official who became infamous after a video showing him having sex with a mistress was leaked online has been jailed for 13 years on bribery charges, state-media said Friday.

A court in Chongqing sentenced Lei Zhengfu, the former top official of one of the megacity’s districts, the government-run Xinhua news agency reported without giving details.

Lei shot to fame after blogger and journalist Zhu Ruifeng released the sex video late last year, along with lurid details of a blackmail scheme which saw a property developer amassing videos of several officials having sex.

Zhu released the video in the wake of high-profile statements by Chinese President Xi Jinping declaring a crackdown on corruption, which he said threatened the future of the ruling Communist party.

But he was later detained by police, who have also arrested other activists calling for government officials to disclose their financial assets, with one said to have been charged with “inciting state-subversion.”

Corruption among a number of low-level government officials has been exposed in the wake of Xi’s call to end graft, but analysts say the president will be reluctant to expose misdeeds among high-level officials, who are the key source of his support in China’s ruling Communist party.

Chongqing was rocked last year after its police chief fled to a US consulate, setting in motion a scandal which saw the city’s top Communist Party official Bo Xilai arrested and his wife convicted of murder.

No date has been announced for the trial of Bo, who is expected to receive a heavy sentence on bribery and other charges, reflecting the Chinese leadership’s caution in charging former high-ranked officials.

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