After a reporter was murdered in Luoyang, Henan, speculation mounted that it was retribution for his reporting, which media reports said included coverage of illegally recycled cooking oil, or “ditch oil.” Police now say they have arrested two suspects and that the crime was a robbery, not related to his work. From AP:
Internet users and some news reports had suggested that Sunday night’s attack in which television reporter Li Xiang was stabbed at least 10 times was linked to an ongoing scandal involving recycled food oil.
The speculation appeared largely based on Li’s last post on his microblog, which was a link to another news agency’s online report last week about an alleged underground factory producing illegal recycled food oil, dubbed “gutter oil.”
Police in Luoyang city in Henan province said in a statement Wednesday that Li was killed during a robbery and two suspects have been caught.
A Luoyang police official who refused to give his name said in a phone interview that there was no evidence the attack was related to Li’s reporting. Phone calls to the Luoyang TV Station, where Li worked, rang unanswered.