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Chinese “White House Secretary” Tried for Murder

12-29 18:26 Caijing Magazine

Li Guofu, a key whistle-blower, was assumedly murdered by Anhui official Zhang Zhian.

Compiled by Caijing

From Caijing online


Zhang Zhian, the Anhui official nicknamed “White House Secretary,” has been charged for murdering Li Guofu, a whistle-blower who reported his corruption to supervisors.


Zhang, a party secretary in Fuyang city, got the nickname “White House Secretary” for building an extravagant office complex that resembles the U.S. Capitol—which Chinese often mix up with the White House— in one of Anhui Province’s poorest counties.


In recent years, letters about Zhang’s misdeeds were mailed to supervisors at various levels, disclosing Zhang’s alleged bribery, illegal expropriations of farmland and construction of luxury office buildings. Li Guofu, chairman of a local development company and a former local official, was a key whistle-blower.      


According to reports on People’s Net, the Web site run by the People’s Daily, Zhang received a copy of such reports in August 2007 and suspected Li as the writer. Zhang sought revenge immediately.


First he compiled a phony report, claiming Li took bribes and hired a hit man to kill someone. Then he tapped connections with law enforcement to launch a multi-layer prosecution of Li. Wang Cheng, a local procuratorate, or prosecutor, arrested Li and started to investigate his alleged corruption and embezzlement of government money, and policemen probed Li’s alleged murder. A local party disciplinary committee put Li’s wife and son-in-law under house arrest to investigate them.  


Li was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, but Wang Cheng denied him medical bail, forced him to sign a confession, and, in March, filed a law suit against him. Zhang instructed the judge to announce a heavy sentence.


Li died in a prison hospital in Anhui on March 13, a week after his case went to court. The procurator said he committed suicide by hanging, but his relatives disagree.


Full article in Chinese: http://www.caijing.com.cn/2008-12-29/110043276.html
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