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Chongqing official on trial for corruption
By Ma Wei in Chongqing and Xie Yu in Beijing (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-08 09:31

Tang Wenfeng, a former senior member of the Chongqing municipal government, went on trial for corruption on Friday at the city's No 5 Intermediate People's Court.

Tang, who had been head of the Chongqing economic and technological development zone since 1997, is charged with misappropriating 218 million yuan ($32 million) of public funds, receiving bribes of more than 9.8 million yuan and causing 24 million yuan in losses to the State during the course of his tenure, the court heard.

Following an investigation, municipal prosecutors said Tang had misappropriated the 218 million yuan by providing financial support on more than one occasion to two construction-sector firms: Chongqing Chengsheng Construction Group and Chongqing Daya Building Material Market Co Ltd.

In return, the companies offered, and Tang accepted, several bribes, mostly in the form of cut-price houses, prosecutors said.

Tang bought the properties for "much less than the market price", they said.

He is also accused of accepting cash and a car.

The investigation also found that the bosses of the two construction firms, Chen Yongsheng and He Xia, and five other people had offered Tang multiple bribes totaling 9.82 million yuan.

No verdict was reached on Friday, and further hearings will be held, the court said.

Last year, the Chongqing government launched a campaign to crack down on corruption in the public sector. Since then, eight senior officials have been charged with graft relating to the property sector.