Whistle-blowing journalist arrested in Chongqing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 August, 2013, 12:40am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 August, 2013, 1:08am

A journalist turned whistle-blower working for Guangzhou-based New Express newspaper was taken away from his home by police on Friday, a month after he publicly accused a deputy director of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of gross dereliction of duty linked to his handling of state assets several years ago.

The wife of Liu Hu, a Chongqing-based reporter for New Express, told the South China Morning Post that over a dozen police officers came to their home in Chongqing on Friday morning and both her parents and her husband were interrogated for about an hour in separate rooms before Liu was handcuffed and led away by police.

Qin Ling, who was not at home when police raided their home, said that she was given no explanation over her husband’s custody and she has no idea of his location now. Qin was not aware if her husband had signed any documents.

“Some [police] officers claimed that they came from Beijing without showing their credentials, though they told my parents not to worry about it,” she said. “But how could I not worry as I don’t know where and how my husband is.”

Some [police] officers claimed that they came from Beijing without showing their credentials, though they told my parents not to worry about it

She said that police also took away two computers including a laptop from their home without asking anyone to sign for them.

Ma Qizheng, 54, was the party secretary of Chongqing’s Wanzhou district between 2002 and 2007 was promoted to a vice mayor of Chongqing during the rein of Bo Xilai, the disgraced party secretary of Chongqing who is currently on trial in Jinan for embezzlement, bribery and abuses of power.

Ma was transferred to Beijing serving as a deputy SAIC director from April this year amid a damaging sex tape scandal implicating more than a dozen district and major state-owned company officials in Chongqing.

In a microblog entry dated on July 29, Liu wrote about how Ma failed in his oversight of the restructuring of the state-run company during his tenure as the former party secretary of Wanzhou district between 2002 and 2007, which led to the loss of millions of yuan in state assets.

Liu later deleted that entry but said he stood by his allegations.

SAIC has yet to response to Liu’s allegations towards the deputy director.

New Express has been informed of Liu’s arrest, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.