Chinese man sentenced to death for leaking state secrets

BEIJING • A Chinese man has been sentenced to death for leaking more than 150,000 classified documents to an unidentified foreign power, state television said yesterday, offering unusual details of a kind of case rarely mentioned in public.

The man, a 41-year-old computer technician from Sichuan named Huang Yu, worked for a government department which handled state secrets, but he was a bad employee and was sacked, the report said.

Filled with anger, he messaged a "foreign spy organisation" on the Internet and offered to sell documents he had obtained while working for his former employer, CCTV reported. The foreign organisation took him up on his offer, and so began their relationship.

Meeting in South-east Asia and Hong Kong, Huang eventually handed over 150,000 documents, which covered everything from the ruling Communist Party to military and financial issues, the report said.

But as he was no longer employed, he began to run out of documents to provide, and so targeted his wife and brother-in-law who also worked for government departments handling state secrets, state television said.

His wife was jailed for five years and his brother-in-law for three years for negligently leaking state secrets. Twenty-nine of Huang's co-workers were also punished, the CCTV report said.

In the end, his frequent travel and unexplained wealth caught up with him, and in 2011, he was arrested, and then sentenced to death. He had earned US$700,000 (S$940,000) in 21 deals over 10 years.

The report did not say when or if the execution had taken place.

China's state secrets law is notoriously broad, covering everything from industry data to the exact birth dates of state leaders. Information can also be labelled a state secret retroactively.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese man sentenced to death for leaking state secrets'. Subscribe