Top Shanghai court officials suspended amid sex scandal

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 August, 2013, 5:09pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 August, 2013, 10:38am

Shanghai authorities have suspended four judiciary officials, including a chief tribunal judge of the city’s top court, two days after a video clip emerged that appeared to show them spending the night with prostitutes at a luxury nightclub.

“Chief tribunal judge Chen Xueming of Shanghai’s Higher People’s Court and three others have been suspended from their posts and are currently under investigation,” according to a brief announcement posted on the Shanghai discipline inspection bureau’s microblog on Sunday.

The video that has ignited public anger since it first appeared on Thursday appeared to show a group of men coming and going from a Shanghai nightclub, with young women on their arms near midnight some time in June.

The footage, titled “Officials getting prostitututes in a group”, was quickly decried online by many who condemned the "morally degenerative" judiciary officials and demanded harsh punishment of the accused.

The person who released the video and revealed himself to be a company owner on Saturday said he had turned the entire video footage — said to be more than 30 hours long — over to the disciplinary body, Beijing Times reported.

He told the newspaper that he had fallen victim to an unfair civil trial in 2009. He accused one of the officials in his video clip of nepotism in siding with the plaintiff.

He also told the Times that he spent nearly a year collecting all the evidence, using various video equipment including a spy cam.

In recent years, sex scandals have led to the sacking of several Chinese officials, who have been caught in photos with their mistresses. 

In June, Lei Zhengfu, a former district party secretary in southwestern Chongqing, was sentenced to 13 years in jail for accepting a 3.2 million yuan (HK$4 million) bribe. The graft case was exposed after a video spread on the internet showing the official having sex with a young woman as part of the bribe.