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Company boss goes to court on graft charge

A FORMER state-owned company manager, Qin Jinlong, went on trial yesterday, charged with obtaining 161 million yuan (US$23.53 million) in public assets by concealing ownership of three land plots while the company was going private.

Ding Beili, the company's former financial manager, also went on trial at Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court yesterday.

A third accused, Zhang Yong, 53, former Party secretary of the company, pled guilty to obtaining 87.15 million yuan illegally.

Ding, 52, is accused of obtaining 106 million yuan.

The plots should have been handed over to the government as state-owned assets before the Shanghai County Real Estate General Company became a private company, Shanghai Zhongxiang (Group) Co Ltd, the court heard. Instead, the three plots became properties of the private company. Since each of the defendants held shares in Zhongxiang, they were guilty of embezzling assets, prosecutors said.

Qin, 61, was appointed general manager of the state-owned company in 1992 and became president of Zhongxiang after the private company was formed in 2001.

Qin denied the charge during the hearing but said he had made some mistakes during the company changeover.

The court heard the Sanlin Yide plot in Pudong New Area was the biggest at 169 hectares.

Prosecutors said Qin had offered an expired land use license for the plot to the firm auditing the real estate company's assets prior to privatization.

As the license had expired the firm didn't include the plot as a state-owned asset, the court heard.

Prosecutors said Qin had obtained government approval to extend the license. Qin transferred the right to use the land for 634 million yuan on April 9, 2001, making an illegal profit of 54.39 million yuan, prosecutors said.

Qin said he had offered the license and whether the plot was listed as state-owned was a government decision.

Qin and Ding also made illegal profits from another two plots of land, prosecutors alleged.

The trial continues.


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