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7 years jail for corrupt city planner

A FORMER Shanghai official was sentenced to seven years prison yesterday for accepting nearly 600,000 yuan (US$87,822) in bribes.

The Xuhui District People's Court said Wu Jiangang, the former deputy division chief of the Shanghai Urban Planning Administrative Bureau, got a lenient punishment because he surrendered to police and returned 290,000 yuan.

Wu was in charge of supervising construction projects approved by the bureau from 1999 to 2008.

From June to November 2003, he accepted 450,000 yuan in bribes from businessman Lu Qing and approved the completed construction of buildings including Erdos Plaza, Raffles City and the Shanghai Grand Theater, the court said yesterday.

Wu asked for a car from Zheng Rongde, general manager of Shanghai East China Electric Group Co Ltd, which was waiting on approval of a project by Wu, the court believed. The car and the plate were valued at more than 100,000 yuan.

The company also covered the car's insurance and other costs - more than 20,000 yuan - from 2002 to 2007.

Wu told the court he only accepted about 20,000 yuan in bribes from Lu. He claimed the rest of the money prosecutors allege were bribes were gifts from friends.

He said Lu was a former classmate and colleague and they were close friends.

He also said he had only borrowed the car from Zheng. The court didn't accept Wu's claims based on others' testimony.


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