BEIJING – A Chinese man has been ordered to serve seven days in detention for posting details online about the case of a former police chief that set off a political firestorm this year, state media reported Saturday.
The leaked information revealed that Wang Lijun, the former police chief of the southwest city of Chongqing, traveled to Beijing accompanied by national security officers in February after leaving a U.S. Consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu, where he had divulged information that brought down high-profile politician Bo Xilai.
The information rebukes the initial official explanation for Wang's absence after he left the consulate, which said he was on vacation receiving therapeutic treatments. The leaked details also offer a glimpse into how Beijing reacted to Wang's failed bid at the consulate to defect to the U.S.
The scandal involving Wang and Bo has rocked China's top leadership as it prepares for next month's once-in-a-decade power transition to the next generation of leaders.
Citing information from the local national security bureau, the state-run Chengdu Daily newspaper said an airline worker gave Wang's personal information to a friend. The leaked information includes the identification numbers of Wang and a national security officer as well as flight information, apparently gleaned from their travel documents. The paper identified the friend as a hotel employee whose surname is Mao and said he posted the information online.
By doing so, Mao "leaked national security work secrets on purpose," the paper said.
It said Mao signed the paperwork accepting the punishment Friday afternoon and was led away by national security personnel.
The airline worker, whom the newspaper identified only by the surname Wang, received a warning, the Chengdu Daily said.
While in the U.S. Consulate, Wang Lijun revealed his suspicions that Bo's wife had murdered a British businessman.
Since then, Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, has been convicted and sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for the murder. Wang was sentenced to 15 years in prison for defection, bribery, abuse of power and bending the law for personal gains.
Bo was expelled from the Communist Party last month. He faces charges ranging from corruption to illicit sexual affairs.