Chongqing cadre Lei Zhengfu, taped having sex, is jailed 13 years for bribery

Lei Zhengfu also ordered by Chongqing court to pay 300,000 yuan; woman seen with him in tape given suspended jail term for extortion

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 June, 2013, 12:24pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 June, 2013, 3:52am

A former Communist Party official from Chongqing embroiled in a sex-video scandal was sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery yesterday, while the woman who appeared with him in the video received a suspended two-year sentence for extortion, Xinhua reported.

The case of Lei Zhengfu , a former Beibei district party chief who was purged from office after images from the video were posted online, led to the downfall of more than 20 government and state enterprise officials in the city.

Lei, 55, was also ordered by the Chongqing No1 Intermediate People's Court to surrender 300,000 yuan (HK$375,000) of personal assets, Xinhua reported. At his trial 10 days ago, he denied accusations that he had accepted 3.16 million yuan in bribes.

Lei's lawyer said his client had not decided whether to appeal against the verdict and declined to make further comment.

But if past cases are any guide, it is almost impossible for a disgraced party official to win an appeal.

The court accused Lei of "taking advantage of his position and providing help to local companies in exchange for bribes", but Lei argued that most of the money mentioned in the prosecutor's charges did not involve bribery.

"Although I'm quite lecherous, I'm not greedy for money," Lei told the court.

In a separate court ruling yesterday, six people involved in a plot to blackmail Lei and another official - including the mastermind of the scheme, Xiao Ye, and Zhao Hongxia , the woman who appeared in the sex tape with Lei - received jail sentences ranging from 18 months to 10 years on extortion charges in the Yubei District People's Court.

Xiao, who was jailed for 10 years, said he would appeal, state radio reported.

The report also said all their illegal earnings had been confiscated.

The prosecution said the six had obtained five million yuan from Lei and the other official by blackmailing them with secretly filmed sexual encounters.

"Zhao Hongxia will return home to reunite with her family later tonight," said Zhao's lawyer, Zhang Zhiyong .

"She is not a heroine who brought down so many officials in Chongqing, but an ordinary woman who loves her child and husband."

Lei told the court during his trial that he and Zhao were in a loving relationship, and that she had tried to trap him into marriage by pretending she was pregnant.

He said he rejected her and sought help from her boss, Xiao, to mediate. In return, he said, he helped Xiao borrow three million yuan from another businessman.

Zhao denied the extortion charges against her last week, as well as Lei's claim, saying the pair had never been in a relationship.