An independent investigative reporter sought help from police on Sunday after he received threats for his exposure of a video featuring a senior Chongqing official having sex with a young woman.
Zhu Ruifeng, a reporter with counter-corruption website jdwsy.com, told the Global Times Sunday that five more sex videos featuring other Chongqing officials, some of whom still hold important positions with the government, will be released once he has obtained enough proof of their authenticity.
He said all the videos were provided by Chongqing police.
Zhu posted the 12-second-long video to the Internet on Tuesday, showing Lei Zhengfu, then secretary of the Beibei District Committee of the Communist Party of China in Chongqing, having sex with Zhao Hongxia in a hotel room in 2007, when she was only 18. Zhu claims Zhao has been Lei’s mistress for the last five years.
After being reposted by Ji Xuguang, another journalist, on Weibo, the video soon triggered massive public uproar, leading to the launch of an official investigation and Lei’s removal from office Friday.
Lei, 54, had been receiving bribes and sexual favors provided by local businessmen, said Zhu.
Lei’s younger brother was able to obtain many construction projects in Chongqing thanks to his government connections, and local engineering companies tried to get approvals to develop projects by hiring young women to seduce officials, Zhu said.
“Zhao was hired and trained by a construction company to bribe Lei with sex, and she got paid 300 yuan ($48.20) per night for sleeping with him. It’s common among Chongqing’s construction companies to bribe officials in this way to get project approvals,” Zhu said.
The video, filmed by Zhao with a hidden camera, was later used to threaten Lei by the construction company but Lei managed to get local police, led by then police chief Wang Lijun, to detain Zhao for a month and send the company manager to prison for one year, Zhu added.
Lei first denied the story after Ji posted shots from the video on Weibo, but Chongqing authorities later verified that Lei was shown in the film.
Lei tried to stop Zhu from spreading the video by using his connections in Beijing to threaten him with texts and phone calls, Zhu said. He informed the Chongqing police of the threats Sunday, and asked several lawyers for help in case something happen to him.
“I’ve given the police a copy of the video. They showed an interest in the case and were pretty nice to me,” said Zhu, adding that he had made copies of the other videos and given them to people he trusts, so that they can stand up for him when something happens to him
The Chongqing municipal government’s media office said Sunday on its Weibo account that the discipline inspectors would release an investigation result as soon as possible.
“I’d like to see the inspectors discover the corrupt officials on their own before I post further information,” Zhu said, explaining he prefers working by himself as an independent reporter rather than cooperating with the government.