Sex video case lands another China official in jail

BEIJING (REUTERS) - An official sacked after a sex scandal was sentenced to 14 years in jail for bribery on Friday, state media said, in the latest fallout from a case that transfixed the country.

Han Shuming, a former district head in the south-western city of Chongqing, was convicted of accepting bribes worth 4.4 million yuan (S$910,000), according to a local court ruling, the Xinhua news agency said.

Han was one of more than 20 officials and executives at state-owned companies who were investigated after a gang blackmailed them with secretly recorded sex videos.

The case first ricocheted around China's gossip-obsessed Internet when it surfaced last November after another Chongqing official, Lei Zhengfu, was caught on video having sex with an 18-year-old mistress.

Lei was sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery in June.

"Han, 48, took advantage of his position and assisted with land leasing and construction contracts for two businessmen surnamed Jiang and Li in exchange for bribes between 2001 and 2013," Xinhua said, citing a court statement.

In June, six members of the extortion gang received jail terms ranging from 18 months to 10 years, the agency said.

Chinese Communist Party officials are banned from having mistresses, and the video came to symbolise to many people the excesses and corruption of the ruling elite.

Sensitive to public outrage and warning that corruption threatens its very survival, the ruling Communist Party has pledged to crack down on corruption at all levels.

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