File photo of Wang Lin.
A policeman and a journalist were under investigation for alleged bribe-taking while handling the case of self-claimed qigong master Wang Lin, Xinhua learnt from the Ministry of Public Security late Sunday evening.
Wang was arrested in August in east China for his alleged role in an "illegal detention" case.
The policeman, surnamed Zhong, is suspected of "colluding with" the ex-wife and a mistress of Wang to help him get rid of the charges, according to the ministry. Zhong is also accused of accepting bribes from the women.
Meanwhile, a reporter from the Nanfang Metropolis Daily (NMD) newspaper, surnamed Liu, was also suspected of getting involved in the illegal activities Zhong engaged in, according to the ministry. Liu had been closely reporting Wang's case.
The ministry said it had taken over the investigation into Zhong's and Liu's cases in order to "justly handle with the cases according to the law", while "in response to public concern" over the high profile cases.
An NMD representative told Xinhua that the newspaper fully supports the ministry's handling of the case, and that it will cooperate in the investigation with the confidence that the police will investigate the case in lawful and fair manner.
Wang Lin, who claims to be a master of qigong, a traditional martial art combined with meditation, came to public attention in 2013 when images of his supposed "supernatural powers" were posted on the Internet. These "powers" include conjuring snakes from thin air and posing for pictures with celebrities.
Wang drew massive media attention when one of his disciples Zou Yong was kidnapped on July 9 and murdered.
Wang and another suspect were arrested on the charge of illegal detention, while the other two were charged with intentional homicide, according to the public security bureau of Jiangxi's Pingxiang City.
According to authorities, Zou was introduced to Wang in 2002. In a TV interview in 2013, Zou said he had paid 5 million yuan (about 787,000 U.S. dollars) in 2009 to become a disciple of Wang, who asked for nearly 30 million yuan from him thereafter.
Wang has been previously investigated for possession of a gun, unlicensed medical practice, bribery and fraud. Local police and health authorities launched an investigation in 2013 but failed to make any headway due to lack of evidence.