Former Chongqing sex-tape official Lei Zhengfu appeals sentence

Former Chongqing party chief says his behaviour was not illegal but he is willing to be censored

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 4:14am

A former Communist Party official sentenced to 13 years in prison in connection with a sex-tape scandal has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Lei Zhengfu, the former party secretary of Beibei district in Chongqing , argued his behaviour did not constitute a crime, but said he was willing to accept disciplinary punishment by the party, his lawyer, Lu Lei, said.

Lei decided to request a review after a one-hour meeting with his lawyer on Tuesday.

Lei was arrested last November after a video showing him having sex with a young woman surfaced on the internet and went viral on social media.

In his trial last month, Lei, 55, denied accepting a 3.16 million yuan (HK$3.96 million) bribe and retracted a confession he had made, saying he had been suffering high blood pressure at the time.

Lei claimed that he and the woman, Zhao Hongxia , had been in a loving relationship but she wanted to lure him into marriage.

He claimed he had sought help from Zhao's boss, real estate developer Xiao Ye, and, in return had helped Xiao borrow 3 million yuan from another businessman.

Lei argued that Xiao, who received a 10-year jail sentence, should be held responsible for not repaying the money, which prosecutors say was a bribe.

Lei was also ordered to surrender 300,000 yuan of personal assets last week.

Zhao was handed a two-year suspended sentence for extortion in a separate court hearing.

The case led to the downfall of more than 20 government and state-own enterprise officials in Chongqing.

Lu could not be reached for comment yesterday.