PBS featured cops’ petition plight

By Li Cong Source:Global Times Published: 2012-12-31 0:49:06

Four Shandong police officers who launched a petition in Beijing denied that they had asked overseas journalists for help, adding they still intend to pursue their complaint against the former police chief of Tancheng county who they say cheated hundreds of their colleagues in a real estate deal.

The plight of Chen Zhuo, a retired head of the county's Huangshan police station, was aired last week by the Virginia-based Public Broadcasting Service in the US in a report that was produced by the UK-based content provider Independent Television News (ITN).

The video was the lead story on the homepage of the television network's website.

"Two reporters from ITN contacted me and asked if my case had been solved properly after they read about my experience online," Chen told the Global Times, adding that he consented to an interview.

Chen and three other local police officers launched their petition three years ago.

Chen said he has traveled to Beijing 10 times to inquire about progress of his complaint, and each time he has been escorted back to his county by his former colleagues.

Chen said he will never give up seeking justice.

The ITN reporters, who could not be reached as of late Sunday by the Global Times, reported that some local police officers attempted to stop them from reporting Chen's story.

Chen said local officials didn't know foreign journalists were involved until they arrived in the county. "The county public security bureau ordered all officers not to speak, unless they were approved to do so."

Chen maintains that Sun Qingang, the county's former police chief, embezzled hundreds of local police officers in a plan to collectively purchase property in 2009.

Sun initially sold some 300 officers apartments for 1,320 yuan ($212) per square meter, but after construction was completed in 2009 the price had jumped to 1,700 yuan. The officers were required to pay the extra 380 yuan per square meter before they were given the keys of their new apartments.

Sun has since been transferred to another county.

"About half of the 300 officers could not afford the higher price and resold their apartments, as did I," Chen said, adding that he believes corruption was involved in the real estate deal and he deserves to be compensated.

"It's also a poor-quality project with a leaking roof and cracking walls," he complained.


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