Ten journalists in China are accused of taking 2.6 million yuan ($380,000) in bribes to not cover a tragic mining accident in Hebei province, China, according to The China Daily.
The Daily reports, “Thirty-four miners and a rescuer died after the explosion at the Lijiawa mine in Yuxian county on July 14 last year, three weeks before the start of the Beijing Olympics.”
The Daily further explains, “According to the allegations, mine bosses relocated bodies, destroyed evidence and paid the journalists 2.6 million yuan ($380,000) to cover up the disaster, Xinhua News Agency said. Relatives of the dead were kept quiet thanks to large payments and threats, it said. The coverup kept the tragedy from the public eye for 85 days.”
Guan Jian, a Beijing reporter working for the China Internet Weekly, is one of the ten journalists accused of bribery. The rest of the ten are, thus far, unnamed.
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The Daily reports Guan was placed on trial in April 2009 “for taking bribes from officials in Yuxian county in the aftermath of the mining accident.”
What did Guan do? He sold “two pages of advertisements” for 250,000 yuan to Yuxian county government officials trying to cover-up the disaster “as well as a ‘subscription fee’ of 30,000 yuan to his newspaper,” China Internet Weekly.
It was after accepting the bribe that Guan “destroyed a tape of the tragedy, the prosecution said.”