Posts Tagged ‘Communist Party corruption’

China Moves to Discredit Tycoon’s Claims of Communist Party Corruption

April 21, 2017

BEIJING — China on Friday sought to discredit billionaire businessman Guo Wengui, painting him as a “criminal suspect” whose allegations of corruption within the highest levels of the Communist Party should not be believed.

Guo, a flamboyant property mogul who has held close ties to disgraced former Chinese intelligence official Ma Jian, has courted international attention with his explosive claims, most recently aired during a live television interview with the U.S government-funded Voice of America (VoA) on Wednesday.

 Exiled businessman Guo Wengui. Photo: Handout

China said on Wednesday that Guo was subject to an Interpol “red notice”, a fact Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Friday.

“If you are willing to believe what he said then that’s your business,” Lu said. “We don’t believe it.”

The Chinese government had pressed VoA to cancel the interview ahead of time, including by summoning one of the broadcaster’s Beijing-based correspondents to a meeting on Monday, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The ministry’s comments come amid an apparently concerted damage-limitation effort within China highlighting Guo’s reputation as an unreliable narrator.

A 23-minute video, purportedly of Ma Jian confessing in detail to accepting 60 million yuan ($8.72 million) in bribes from Guo, has circulated on Chinese social media since Wednesday night without being removed by government censors who are often quick to delete politically sensitive posts or unsubstantiated rumors.

The video, which was produced and posted online anonymously, has also been reported on widely by mainland media outlets, all of which are regulated by the government. Reuters was unable to independently verify the veracity of the video.

The widely read Beijing News newspaper, and the respected financial magazine Caixin, also published lengthy investigations into Guo’s business dealings and ties with Ma, a disgraced former state security vice-minister who was first detained in early 2015 and expelled from the Communist Party in December last year.

Guo has said he left China in late 2014 after being tipped off about Ma’s imminent arrest, and has not returned since his company premises were raided amid a heated dispute with state-backed Founder Securities.

Since leaving, he has spent most of his time in the United States.

After laying low for two years, Guo resurfaced in February and has since made wide-ranging but unverified allegations of corruption against several top Communist Party officials – past and present – and their families.

He says the information was obtained from Ma, whom he concedes he held a close relationship with but denies bribing.

At Friday’s Foreign Ministry briefing, Lu rejected suggestions the timing of the Interpol red notice was connected to the airing of the VoA interview.

“Interpol has been around for 100 years and has 190 member states,” he said. “For this kind of international organization we think their actions are solemn.”

(Reporting by Philip Wen and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Hong Kong: Men Charged With Attack on Ming Pao Newspaper Editor Were Beaten and Tortured In Mainland

July 24, 2015

A Hong Kong police superintendent has denied that mainland authorities had been asked to interrogate, beat and torture the two men accused of a knife attack on former newspaper editor Kevin Lau.

By

HONG KONG: In Hong Kong, a police superintendent has denied that two men accused of a knife attack on a former newspaper editor were interrogated in mainland China.

Two men with triad links are on trial, charged with the attack on Kevin Lau, the former chief editor of one of Hong Kong’s foremost dailies, Ming Pao.

Kevin Lau Chun-to meeting the press after his attack in February 2014. Photo: Apple Daily.

Kevin Lau Chun-to meeting the press after his attack in February 2014. Photo: Apple Daily.

 

A lawyer for one of the defendants asked the chief superintendent in charge whether the police had asked mainland authorities to interrogate, beat and torture the men.

The officer denied this, but conceded that local police had no control over the manner or length of the suspects’ detention on the mainland. The pair were caught on the mainland in March last year, and were not brought back to Hong Kong until 10 days later.

Kevin Lau survived horrific injuries after being attacked with meat cleavers, and had to be hospitalised for 6 months.

In court on Thursday, Lau gave testimony that he could not identify his attackers as they wore crash helmets and that the attack happened too quickly.

The two men, Yip Kim-wah and Wong Chi-wah have pleaded not guilty to the charge of grievous bodily harm with intent, and stealing a motorbike.

The prosecution said the two men were offered US$13,000 each to carry out the attack, and that they had carefully planned it by familiarising themselves with Lau’s routine. They carried out the attack on Feb 26 using a stolen motorcycle, and then fled across the border.

The two men have not revealed who paid them to act or the motive, but local reports speculate that it was Lau’s involvement with an investigative story into the overseas property holdings of Beijing’s high-ranking officials that prompted the attack.

The trial continues for another two weeks.

China: Freedom of the Media Activist Pleads Not Guilty in Chaotic All-Night Trial

November 29, 2014

The Associated Press

A leading Chinese rights activist who organised rallies for media freedom pleaded not guilty to charges of disturbing public order in an all-night trial in which the judge rejected his requests for food, a lawyer said.

The case against Yang Maodong, 48, comes amid a broadening crackdown on dissent. In January, a Beijing court sentenced legal activist Xu Zhiyong to four years in prison for leading a loosely organised civil movement. Several of his followers also were imprisoned.

New York-based Human Rights Watch called on authorities to drop the charges against Yang, better known by his penname Guo Feixiong, and fellow defendant Sun Desheng, who was arrested for urging the Chinese government to grant more rights to its people and to disclose officials’ assets.

Zhang Lei, lawyer for Yang, said on his microblog that the trials Friday against Yang and Sun at Tianhe District Court got off to a tense start when the court several times cut off arguments by the defence. The hearing ended only at 2:50 a.m. Saturday with the judge granting a recess after Yang nearly fainted from hunger. The court had repeatedly rejected earlier requests for food, Sun’s lawyer Chen Jinxue said.

The lawyers said both Yang and Sun had been mistreated in detention. Yang was denied any outdoor break for 469 days, and Sun had his ankles and wrists shackled for a week before the trial, Zhang said.

A court employee declined to confirm the trials, but he said a “special case” was taking place, without further elabouration. Rights lawyers and advocates said security was heavy around the courthouse and stretched as far as three kilometres out.

Yang has advocated for greater political freedom and more civic engagement in China. In January last year, Yang helped organise demonstrations and spoke in support of the editorial staff at the newspaper Southern Weekly in Guangzhou after its journalists said a New Year’s message that called for rule by the constitution was altered because of censorship.

The charge alleges he gathered crowds to disrupt public order, but his supporters say the rallies were orderly.

He also encouraged activists to hold up placards in several cities. To avoid confrontation with police, the activists typically did not linger but left quickly after taking photographs of their acts, then posting the images online. Authorities have found such acts unacceptable, and Chinese courts have actively prosecuted the quick protests.

Sun was not involved with the Southern Weekly rallies, but his charge – the same as Yang’s – stems from his unfurling banners calling for public disclosure of officials’ assets and urging China’s legislature to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Sun’s lawyer Chen Jinxue said.

China: Anti-corruption whistleblower beaten, knifed in “revenge” attack — Faces permanent disability

December 31, 2013

China: An anti-corruption whistleblower from China’s industrial south is in hospital   after being “chopped” and beaten by men armed with knives, in latest of   series of attacks on activists

An anti-corruption whistleblower from China’s industrial south is in hospital after being “chopped” and beaten by men armed with knives, in latest of series of attacks on activists

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Chen Jinwen was withdrawing money from a cash point on Sunday afternoon when the frenzied assault took place Photo: nandu.com

By , Shanghai

A Chinese anti-corruption whistleblower has been severely injured after being   set upon by three knife-wielding assailants in what relatives believe was a    “revenge” attack.

Chen Jinwen, from Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong, was   withdrawing money from a cash point on Sunday afternoon when the frenzied   assault took place, one local television channel reported.

Doctors told the Southern Metropolis newspaper the 42-year-old whistleblower   suffered 13 knife wounds across his back and limbs and now faced permanent   disability because of a severed tendon in his left leg.

Mr Chen was also treated for shock after “excessive” loss of blood and   sustained a badly broken nose.

Police offered no immediate explanation for the assault but reports suggested   it had been a “revenge” attack.

Mr Chen reportedly began speaking out against graft in 2012 when he accused a   local Communist Party chief of using public money to bankroll overseas   gambling junkets.

One of the victim’s sisters, who was not named, suggested her brother had been   deliberately targeted because of his anti-corruption activism and noted that   his mobile phone, wallet and gold necklace had not been taken.

“He received a threatening text message before, saying his whole family would   be killed,” the sister added.

Witness accounts suggested the attack was not the work of thieves.

“At first I thought it was robbery, but the cash the victim was holding was   not taken,” one bystander, named only as Mr Hu, told the Southern Metropolis   newspaper.

The attack is the latest in a series on Chinese whisteblowers and follows a   similar case in Guangdong province last July.

Then, Li Jianxin, a 47-year-old amateur whistleblower from Huizhou city, was left   for dead after three attackers rammed his car, doused him with acid   and repeatedly stabbed him in front of his 6-year-old son.

Sui Muqing, a Guangdong-based human rights lawyer, said there were now “many   cases like this” taking place in the region.

While some victims sought justice by hiring lawyers, Mr Sui admitted it was    “quite difficult to solve these issues by legal means since they mostly   involve extensive mafia-style networks.”

Xi Jinping, the president, has called on the Chinese public to inform on dirty   Communist Party cadres as part of what he has billed as a major campaign   against graft.

However, that has done little to protect China’s grassroots whistleblowers who   often use the internet to expose corruption only to face intimidation,   imprisonment or even murder.

In November, a doctor turned whistleblower told   reporters he had been forced to conduct his business armed with a rolling pin   after receiving death threats.

Ke Zunnian, from Shaanxi province, said he took the unusual measure after   denouncing a local politician for squandering public money on a tour of   France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, three activists who called on Chinese politicians to publish their   personal finances are awaiting sentencing in Jiangxi province after standing   trial for “illegal assembly”.