CHINA> Regional
Party boss jailed for bribery in SW China
Updated: 2009-06-30 21:35

KUNMING: A former Communist Party chief of a southwest Chinese county, who was sacked for connections to a riot at a rubber plant that led to two deaths, was sentenced 12 years in prison for a bribery conviction Tuesday.

The Pu'er Municipal Intermediate People's Court convicted Hu Wenbin, former secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Menglian County Committee in Yunnan Province, of bribery and handed down 12 years. It also fined Hu 100,000 yuan (US$14,662).

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Hu took bribes exceeding US$70,000 from 12 people between 2003 and 2008. Some business people bribed Hu to seek preferences in the bidding for construction projects, the court said.

Hu served as the Pu'er City's sports bureau director and Menglian Party chief during that period. He turned over all the bribes when he was being investigated.

He was striped of his post for dereliction of duty after a conflict between local farmers and a rubber plant escalated into a riot on July 19, 2008.

He said local gangsters were causing security problems at the plant, but actually the farmers were demanding higher pay from the plant.

Police fired guns on a group of 400 people, killing two local people. Thirteen rioters and 41 policemen were injured in the incident.

Also on Tuesday, the Pu'er Municipal Intermediate People's Court sentenced the former assistant mayor of Pu'er Dao Lifu, who served as the government head and Party chief in Menglian between 1998 and 2004, to 13 years in prison. Dao took 536,000 yuan in bribes from 20 people.

The court also convicted Zhu Dexing, an former official in the finance bureau in Pu'er, of corruption, bribery and abuse of power Tuesday. Zhu was sentenced 13 years.

It was not known whether the three convicts would appeal or not. They confessed to their crimes Tuesday.