Anti-graft 'hero' falls from grace amid claims of bribery

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 February, 2005, 12:00am

The 'anti-corruption hero' Communist Party chief of Lianjiang county in Fujian province has allegedly taken 2 million yuan in bribes and failed to account for the source of 6 million yuan in his possession.

The allegations were the latest made in a report by the Beijing-backed Ta Kung Pao yesterday, which also accused Huang Jingao of having six mistresses in addition to maintaining relationships with his wife and ex-wife at the same time.

Mr Huang burst into the national spotlight in August thanks to a letter to the online edition of the People's Daily. The former farmer wrote that he had been forced to wear a bulletproof vest for six years after receiving 26 death threats because of his unrelenting battle against corruption.

In December, he was taken by unidentified people from the county's Lianjiang Royal Hotel, where he had been scheduled to attend a meeting.

In a full-page report yesterday, Ta Kung Pao accused Mr Huang of abusing his power.

In one instance, Mr Huang was said to have granted a contract for the expansion of Lianjiang No1 Secondary School to one of his mistresses who was jobless and did not have the backing of any construction firm. His mistress then sold the contract to another contractor at much higher price.

The paper said Mr Huang split the profit with his mistress, pocketing 80 per cent of the proceeds himself.

It said that even after he sent his letter to the People's Daily, Mr Huang continued to take bribes. He did it several times a day on occasion. The highest single bribe he took was 300,000 yuan.

It claimed that Mr Huang had sent the letter to the People's Daily as part of a pre-emptive strike against corruption allegations that arose early last year.

According to the paper, the Fuzhou disciplinary commission received a large number of reports against Mr Huang's corruption and his 'decadent lifestyle'.

Mr Huang had first attempted to arrange for the publication of a similar article in a Guangzhou magazine. But the magazine withheld the article after learning about the 'true circumstances' about him, according to Ta Kung Pao.

The report said Mr Huang kept seven mobile phones to communicate with his six mistresses, including the wife of the journalist, surnamed Li, who penned the People's Daily article from him.

Mr Huang had planned the article to be published on August 12, the day when he was scheduled to depart for Taiwan for a visit. If the situation was not in his favour, Mr Huang planned to seek political refuge outside the mainland.

But the People's Daily published it a day earlier without informing Mr Huang, thus disrupting his plan, Ta Kung Pao said.

It said Li was also detained for investigation, while his wife had disappeared with all the family savings.