Former China police chief gets death in gang case
A former Chinese police chief was sentenced to death on Wednesday, state media report said, in a sprawling gangland corruption case that has riveted the country.world Updated: Apr 14, 2010 16:39 IST
A former Chinese police chief was sentenced to death on Wednesday, state media report said, in a sprawling gang corruption case that has riveted the country.
The case of Wen Qiang has been the biggest in a series of gang prosecutions in the southwestern city of Chongqing that involves sex, corruption and the city's violent underworld.
A report posted on the website of Chongqing News said that one of Chongqing's Intermediate People's Court sentenced Qiang, 55, late Wednesday afternoon.
Phones at the court rang were not answered.
Prosecutors had accused Wen of taking bribes worth more than 16 million yuan (USD 2.4 million) from gang members, who he gave legal protection to, while he was director of the Chongqing Municipal Judicial Bureau.
During his trial, Qiang told the court that much of the money he accepted was for "birthday and New Year" greetings, state media reported. Qiang was also found guilty of raping a university student in 2007 and 2008, Chongqing News reported.
Chongqing has a long history of underworld activities, and a government crackdown has exposed a tangled web of links between government officials and police officers who provide cover for the crime syndicates.
More than 3,000 people, including 14 high-ranking government and police officials, have been arrested.
Chongqing's Communist Party boss has said the crackdown isn't over. "There are still 500 or 600 cases that still haven't been broken," Bo Xilai announced last month.
Qiang's wife was also sentenced on Wednesday to eight years in prison for taking bribes in exchange for protecting gang members, Chongqing News reported.
Wen Qiang was detained in August and accused of protecting gang operations masterminded by his sister-in-law, Xie Caiping, 46, known as the "godmother" of the Chongqing underworld. Caiping was sentenced to 18 years in prison in November for running illegal casinos and bribing government officials.
She was notorious for her toughness and lavish lifestyle that reportedly included luxury villas and a stable of 16 young lovers.