The acting president of the Shanghai High Court has been accused of corruption and abuse of power during his time as a provincial police chief.
The accusations levelled at Cui Yadong were contained in a letter signed by 70 police officers, who said that, while head of the police in Guizhou province, he used his position to enrich himself through kickbacks and private business schemes.
The following week, Cui angered internet users when he said in a speech that the scandal had given "foreign hostile forces" an opportunity to attack the Communist Party and the mainland's judiciary. He announced a six-month "moral education campaign" for judges.
The letter, dated June 15 and signed by the Guizhou police officers with their thumbprints, began to circulate online yesterday. The post was later removed from a microblog site and the Yangcheng Evening News website.
The letter made 16 accusations against Cui concerning his time as Guizhou's chief of police and head of the powerful Politics and Law Commission from 2006 until his appointment as Shanghai's acting top judge in April this year.
The accusations include building a luxurious penthouse villa at a police dormitory, awarding contracts for police construction projects to property developers in return for kickbacks, and claiming more than 20 million yuan (HK$25 million) in entertainment expenses for family members and friends from his home province of Anhui .
Cui was also accused of using his position to profit from a famous liquor that often features at banquets for the rich and powerful, and has long been a source of corruption. Cui, they said, had a vast private supply of the liquor, paid for from public funds, which he then sold for a profit.
"The security protection department of the provincial police bureau bought 10 tonnes of the liquor every year, of which Cui took away six tonnes for himself. Over five years, he appropriated 30 tonnes of the liquor in total," the letter alleges.
"Just before he set off for Shanghai, he took four tonnes of the liquor from the security protection department," it claims.
The letter also alleges Cui bribed "cadres" at a state liquor producer to help him register liquor outlets in Anhui, where he then sold its products.
Neither the Shanghai Higher People's Court nor the Guizhou police responded to requests for comment.
The letter said Cui spent 1.2 million yuan on a Volkswagen Touareg sports utility vehicle and handed out flats at police barracks as favours.
It also claimed he converted nine flats on the top three floors of a dormitory for police officers into a villa.