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September 3, 2009

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Defendant claims his confession was a trick

A FORMER Party chief at a Shanghai hospital who earlier admitted to bribery now says prosecutors tricked him into making a confession.
The defendant, 63-year-old Gu Miaoxing, recanted his admission during an appeal hearing yesterday in the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court. He had previously been sentenced by the Xuhui District People's Court to six years in prison for abusing his position as Party secretary of the Shanghai No. 8 People's Hospital.
In his first trial, he was found guilty of accepting 260,000 yuan (US$38,060) in bribes, mostly in exchange for doling out construction contracts during a hospital expansion. He had been charged with accepting 222,000 yuan from a man surnamed Shang and 10,000 from a man surnamed Chen for no-bid construction contract awards.
In yesterday's hearing, he denied those charges, but he did say he accepted cash from a man surnamed Huang who asked him to promote medicines to hospital directors after Gu retired in 2006.
Gu called several hospitals and one agreed to buy Huang's drugs. Huang then paid him 28,000 yuan, he said.
The district court convicted Gu based on his confession. But Gu said he made the statement only because prosecutors told him he wouldn't be jailed if the bribes were below 300,000 yuan and if he returned the money, which he did.
"I wanted to go back home as soon as possible. So I admitted I accepted the money from Shang," Gu said.
The intermediate court did not say when a verdict would be announced.


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