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March 18, 2010

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6 face trial over fatal Shanghai gang fight

SIX young gang members who were allegedly embroiled in a wild and fatal fight involving guns and knives at a Shanghai train station went on trial yesterday.

The hearing, in Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court, is scheduled to last for three days.

The trial of five Fujian Province people, also young, from the opposing gang is scheduled to begin next week.

The melee last May, in which two people died and two were injured, was sparked by a drug dealer's debt dispute, prosecutors said yesterday.

Police seized 15 guns and 247 bullets after the fight.

The six are facing charges that include murder, drug trafficking and public affray.

Two of the defendants, who are lovers, pleaded not guilty to some major charges.

The other four have pleaded guilty to all charges.

Ice purchase

Dong Shuang, 20, is accused of being a drug dealer and a major instigator of the tragic melee.

She allegedly borrowed 20,000 yuan (US$2,300) from Liu Xiaohua, leader of the gang from Fujian Province, in April, 2009, to buy 100 grams of the powerful narcotic, methamphetamine, or ice, from a drug dealer in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Prosecutors said Dong sold 10 grams of ice for 3,000 yuan to a man in Changzhou and took the rest of the drug back to Shanghai to sell.

She was charged with selling 127 grams of drugs, including 27 grams of ecstasy, police seized from her when she was caught after the melee at Shanghai Railway Station.

Dong admitted in court that she sold ice - but only 10 grams of it.

She said she gave the rest of the ice to her boyfriend, Zhu Zhangui, and they planned to take the drugs themselves.

Money query

However, Dong and Zhu, both unemployed and long-term residents of a hotel room, failed to explain to the court where the money came from to support their high-flying lifestyles.

Prosecutors said when Dong failed to pay back the debt, the Fujian gang went to her room on May 22 and demanded the money at gunpoint.

Dong's friends soon arrived and the altercation flared into a group fight involving guns and knives at the train station, prosecutors said.

Zhang Hongfu, 32, from northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, allegedly shot a member of the other gang dead. A Fujian gang member was also killed in the brawl.

Zhu, who was charged with starting the melee and stabbing Chen Yingwen, denied he called for reinforcements.

He said fellow gang members just happened to go to his room with guns and knives.

Zhu claimed he stabbed Cheng while trying to stop him firing a gun.


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