3 May 2013
(c) 2013 Kyodo News
HONG KONG, May 3 -- The woman who helped exposed a sex scandal that brought down 11 officials and company executives in southwestern China's Chongqing Municipality is to be charged with extortion, Chinese media reported Friday.
Zhao Hongxia, who appeared in a 2007 sex video with then Beibei district party chief Lei Zhengfu, is accused along with five other people including clothing company owner Xiao Ye of extorting 5 million yuan (about $810,000) from Lei and another unnamed official.
The China.org website, operated under the State Council information office, said Xiao arranged for women employees to lure government officials to have sex with them, secretly recorded the encounters, and then used the videos to blackmail them into awarding government contracts.
The sex tapes were circulated on the Internet in November last year, leading to the sacking of 11 officials, including Lei, who was first to be removed from his post. One of the videos show Lei's face and his naked upper body on top of a naked woman in bed identified as Zhao.
In an earlier interview with China News Agency, Lei had denied having an affair and claimed the photos and video were doctored.
The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, a Hong Kong-based human rights watchdog, said Zhao was prosecuted Friday and is likely to face a 10-year prison sentence.
The Chongqing People's Procuratorate could not be reached for comments.