Jailed official sues over sex story

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 September, 2008, 12:00am

A jailed former government official in Anhui has sued a journalist over an allegedly defamatory report that said she slept with high officials to obtain promotions.

Shang Jun , former deputy chief of the Anhui Health Department, filed suit against Zhang Guohua , a reporter with Qian Wei, a magazine affiliated with the Hubei Daily Group, and demanded damages of 200,000 yuan (HK$228,200), the Anhui Market News reported yesterday.

Shang also demanded that Zhang issue an apology in the press, according to the report.

In March, Shang sued the Hubei Daily Group for defamation and was awarded 60,000 yuan in damages and a written apology from the media group.

Shang - who was president of the Fuyang Intermediate People's Court, deputy Fuyang mayor and deputy director of the Anhui Health Department - was arrested in March 2006 for taking bribes.

In February last year, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking bribes of almost 1 million yuan.

During Shang's detention as she awaited trial, Qian Wei published three 'explosive reports' in August 2006 that said she had become the mistress of two provincial officials in Anhui to get promotions. One report said 'a woman aiming for high power used her pretty face to become the mistress of two provincial officials so that she could be promoted to department head ...

'The seductive woman's tricks were finally exposed after the two officials fell from grace.'

The reports were picked up by mainland media, and Shang was subsequently referred to as 'the female official in the tabloid sex news' and 'the helicopter department chief', suggesting that she received speedy promotions.

In the suit, Shang said the reports were groundless, had painted her as someone who had exchanged sex for power and had 'seriously violated her reputation as well as humiliated her as a person', according to the report.

Shang said reports that she had become the mistress of former Anhui governor Wang Huaizhong and former deputy provincial Communist Party secretary Wang Zhaoyao were 'fabricated'.

Wang Huaizhong was executed in 2003 for taking millions of yuan in bribes, and Wang Zhaoyao received a suspended death sentence for similar offences.

Shang said there was no mention in her case of her using sex for career advancement and her reputation should not be besmirched like that.