Chongqing charges six with using sex videos to blackmail officials

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 5:01am

A court in Chongqing has charged six people with working together to blackmail government officials by recording videos of them having sex, Xinhua reported yesterday.

The six were charged with extortion on Monday, Xinhua said, citing judicial authorities in the southwestern municipality, where they are slated to be tried.

Investigators said the group "lured officials into having sex with women and secretly recorded their encounters to blackmail them from 2008 to 2009".

The charges come after a high- profile case in which footage of a district party chief having sex with his mistress went viral on Sina Weibo, creating an uproar. State media said the official, Lei Zhengfu , had been removed from his post and would face corruption charges.

Party officials are banned from keeping mistresses and the video came to symbolise the excesses and corruption of the ruling elite.

President Xi Jinping has called for a crackdown on graft and has warned that the problem could threaten the party's survival, though only a small number of senior officials have been fired or investigated for graft since Xi came to power last year.

Ten government officials and heads of state-owned firms were fired in January for their involvement in sex videos, Xinhua said.