Media gag on party deputy's murder

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am

Killer left list of officials who had received 'gifts'

The deputy party secretary of Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, and a female civil servant were shot dead before the Lunar New Year holiday by a senior public security official who then committed suicide, Caijing magazine reported yesterday.

But reports of the slaying were removed from major mainland websites within hours of their posting yesterday, with analysts saying the authorities were concerned about damage to the government's image.

Caijing reported that Guan Liuru, head of the Economic and Technological Development Department of Hohhot's Public Security Bureau, gunned down deputy party secretary Wang Zhiping and a female tax officer in Guan's office on February 5. It said the case had worried the central leadership greatly, and the Ministry of Public Security had sent investigators to the city.

Born in 1953, Wang had previously served as deputy director of Baotou's State Security Department and Hohhot's chief procurator. He had been the city's deputy party chief since October 2006.

The fact that Guan had just been awarded 2,000 yuan in recognition of his public security work during the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on September 21 last year aroused curiosity about his motives.

Speculation was rife that Guan killed Wang because he had failed to buy an official position. He reportedly left a death note and a list of officials to whom he had given gifts before his suicide. There were also suggestions that Guan, who had worked as the head of Hohhot's criminal police, was facing the sack because of accusations about his involvement in a triad case before his transfer to the bureau's Economic and Technological Development Department. Guan had reportedly bribed several officials to try to avoid punishment.

Beijing Institute of Technology political scientist Hu Xingdou said the case exposed corruption among mainland officials, who, he said, would use any means to protect their interests.

'It is not rare for some officials to take revenge on seniors because it is a small circle and officials' promotion or demotion is controlled by a few powerful ones,' Professor Hu said.

Wang's case is not isolated. Xuan Xiong , the former chief of Suixi county's Oceanic and Fishery Bureau in Guangdong, was sentenced to death by the Zhanjiang Intermediate People's Court in December for murdering his deputy, Chen Zhenhua , whom he feared was about to replace him.