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January 23, 2010

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Bribe charges for Chongqing ex-cop

PROSECUTORS in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality said yesterday they had officially charged a former police officer with taking bribes and protecting organized crime.

Wen Qiang, former deputy director of Chongqing's public security department, was also accused of rape and being unable to explain the sources of his assets, according to a statement published on the Website of the municipal procuratorate,

Prosecutors said investigations showed Wen had abused his power by offering benefits to others and accepting huge bribes personally or with his wife Zhou Xiaoya when he served in a series of Communist Party of China and administrative posts at the Public Security Bureau of Chongqing.

He had also covered up or allowed organized crime led by notorious gang leaders, including Xie Caiping, Wang Tianlun and Gong Gangmo, and received bribes from them.

The statement did not reveal the amount of bribes or his unidentified assets.

Wen's trial will begin on Tuesday, the Beijing News quoted an insider as saying.

The prosecutors said Wen will be charged with rape, bribery, possession of unexplained assets, and protecting gangs.

Wen's wife Zhou Xiaoya will stand trial with her husband for taking bribes with him. She also provided important evidence that linked Wen with bribery after police showed her a video clip of her husband visiting underaged prostitutes.

Wen's defending lawyer Yang Kuangshen said the suit was accepted on Monday, and Wen appeared calm during talks about the trial in their meetings.

Gangs operated

The 54-year-old Chongqing native served as vice public security director for 16 years from 1992 to 2008. During his tenure, Chongqing police failed to quell rampant mafia-like gangs that conducted murder in broad daylight and pulled billions from casinos and extortion.

Wen's sister in law, Xie Caiping was known as the "godmother" in Chongqing's underworld. In November, Chongqing No.5 Intermediate People's Court gave Xie 18 years in prison for opening casinos and bribery.

Wen reportedly had close ties to local real estate boss and a congress deputy Li Qiang. Li was given 20 years in prison for leading a gang that controlled the city's transportation with violence.

Police seized Wen on August 7. He allegedly confessed in investigation that he slept with almost every actress who performed in Chongqing, according to former reports.

Local prosecutors said 87 officials were implicated in the crackdown in all. Twelve of them were at bureau level.


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