CCTV Reporter’s Arrest Causes a Stir

China Daily reports on the arrest in Beijing of a CCTV reporter by local officials from Shanxi on charges of bribery:

The journalist, who was only identified as Li, worked for a CCTV program featuring legal affairs, the report said.

A month ago, she visited the Xinghualing district procuratorate in Shanxi to report on an economic dispute.

The procuratorate was reported to favor a local businessman when investigating the dispute and sent prosecutors to Huizhou, Guangdong province to arrest a Cantonese businessman surnamed Wu.

[...] CCTV challenged the procuratorate on whether it had enough evidence to arrest Li, especially since she had filed a report against the procuratorate previously.

More on the case from the Wall Street Journal China blog:

Li’s arrest has caused an angry outcry among China’s vocal netizens, who have started another “human flesh search engine” to dig out details about what they call “the strongest prosecutor in history”. A phone number for the Shanxi procuratorate office has been posted online, and some netizens called on people to dial the number till the telephone was broken.

The local prosecutor declined to comment, saying the case is under review, Xinhua reported. CCTV, meanwhile has already sent staff to Shanxi province to deal with the case. A CCTV spokesman said that the local procuratorate was not in a proper position to issue the warrant for Li’s arrest, according to the Beijing Youth Daily (in Chinese here).

Another China Daily article has more details on the arrest and a statement from Li’s defense lawyer:

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) confirmed Tuesday on its website that it has approved the detention.

However, Zhou said it was inappropriate for the SPP to approve the detention as the district procuratorate had a conflict of interest with the journalist.

“It (the Xinghualing district procuratorate) interfered in the work of a reporter, and we will sue it for threatening Li, and for illegal enforcement of the law,” Zhou said.

Li was detained on Thursday evening by four plainclothes officers sent by the Xinhualing district procuratorate. They gained entry to her flat by claiming to check for a floor leak.

Danwei translated a blog post by lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan on the legal issues involved in the case.

December 10, 2008 12:11 AM
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Categories: Law, Politics