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Former vice-mayor tried for taking bribes
By Di Fang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-12 14:10

The trial of the former vice-mayor of the city of Nanchong in Southwest China's Sichuan Province will continue Tuesday in the provincial capital of Chengdu, local media reported.

The Chengdu Intermediate People's Court is hearing the case.

Li Bin was accused of accepting around 1.6 million yuan (US$190,000) in bribes and a legal explanation cannot be found for his assets of 1.3 million yuan (US$160,000), the public prosecutor said.

Li is accused of committing the crimes from 1997 to 2002 during his tenure as head of Shunqing District of Nanchong, sources with the local procuratorate said.

All of the alleged bribes taken by Li were from companies after he offered illegal assistance to those enterprises, sources said.

For example, Li allegedly received a bribe of 100,000 yuan (US$12,000) from a real estate company after he gave the company the right to construct a stadium for the Shunqing District Sports Commission, the public prosecutor accused.

Li was also charged with accepting 81,000 yuan (US$9,800) from a construction company manager after the company was given the contract to build a section of the highway connecting Nanchong and Xichong, a county in Sichuan Province.

The former official is charged with acquiring 30 per cent of the shares in another local real estate company and later provided illegal help in four projects.

For this, he received a house worth 604,000 yuan (US$73,000) and a villa worth 422,000 yuan (US$51,000) from the real estate company, sources said.

The public prosecutor said Li's assets, including cash, real estate, cars and stocks, were worth 4 million yuan (US$490,000) and US$23,000 has been seized so far.

Li admitted receiving cash, but claimed that they were "gifts" rather than bribes, as they were normally received in the run up to traditional holidays, such as Spring Festival.

"I have never provided illegal support to those companies," Li was quoted by local media as saying.

As for the shares he acquired, Li said these were not bribery, but for participating in the running of the company.

Li also claimed that he paid back some of the alleged bribes, 400,000 yuan (US$48,000) including the 100,000 yuan (US$12,000) from a real estate company.

No decision was made by the court after the first day of the trial on Sunday.

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