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Chongqing officials jailed for vendor's murder
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-07 08:03

The three urban administrators, who stabbed a noodle seller to death in Chongqing in July, were jailed on Wednesday, the Chongqing Evening News reported on Thursday.

Zhou Peng, who was given a life term; Dai Jian, 12 years' jail; and Xiao Zaiyuan, 11 years' jail, were found guilty of the murder of Liu Jianping at the fifth intermediate people's court of Chongqing.

Liu, who had worked for many years as a food vendor in the area around Datianwan Stadium, was fatally stabbed during an altercation with the three officials over the positioning of his stall, police said at the time.

Prior to the assault, the three killers had been assisting another urban administrator, Zhong Cheng, who was on a routine patrol of the area, the newspaper quoted the court as saying.

According to the court report, Liu brandished a kitchen knife when the three men attempted to confiscate his stall and equipment.

The officials then attacked him, snatched the knife and stabbed him with it.

The attack ended when passersby intervened. Liu was taken to hospital, but later succumbed to his injuries, the court heard.

The three men were arrested soon after and the local government launched an investigation. Liu's family was later awarded 500,000 yuan ($73,000) in compensation.

The convicted men are appealing their sentences, the newspaper said.

Urban management officials in China have long been criticized by the public for their heavy-handed approach to dealing with disputes involving street vendors.