Five stand trial over defamation, blackmail

Updated: 2015-02-11 15:00


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CHANGSHA - Five people went on trial in Central China's Hunan province on Wednesday accused of fabricating online news and blackmailing the subjects of the reports to have them deleted.

The procuratorate says that Ge Qiwei, alleged head of the gang, whose original name was Zhou Bo, falsely presented himself as a news reporter.

The victims include officials and staff from enterprises and public institutions in more than 10 provinces and cities, in a case involving millions of yuan, according to the Hengyang city procuratorate.

Ge's fabrications also smeared the local government and disrupted social order, the procuratorate said.

It believes the five defendants threatened or coerced their victims to pay for defamatory posts to be deleted, which violates the criminal law.

The court hearing is expected to last two days.