Prison for Journalist in Cover-Up

A Chinese journalist has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for taking bribes to help cover up a coal mine disaster just before the Beijing Olympics, his lawyer said Wednesday. More than 50 local officials and journalists also faced charges. Mine officials in the northern province of Hebei were accused of moving bodies, destroying evidence and paying journalists USD 380,000 not to report on the July 2008 explosion, in which 34 miners and a rescue worker were killed, state-run media have reported. The story was kept quiet for three months. The explosion occurred during a national safety campaign, three weeks before the Games. The journalist, Li Junqi, the Hebei bureau chief of Farmers’ Daily, was thought to be the first of 10 journalists sentenced. At least 48 officials also faced charges of paying or taking bribes, the official China Daily has reported


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