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Ex-chief of police faces five-day trial

CHONGQING'S former police chief and top judicial official faced trial today on charges of taking more than 16 million yuan (US$2.34 million) in bribes to protect mafia-like gangs in the city.

Prosecutors said 55-year-old Wen Qiang should take ultimate responsibility for rampant gang crime in the city.

Wen allegedly received more than 6.3 million yuan from mob bosses for his protection and 8.8 million yuan from subordinate officials he helped with promotion, according to the indictment.

He couldn't explain the source of more than 10 million yuan of his assets, according to the indictment. He was also charged with raping a university girl in 2007. The rape case will not be tried in public. The whole trial is expected to last five days.

Law experts said Wen could face death penalty if the charges stand, according to Wuhan Evening News.

Wen is one of the most high-ranking officials to be toppled in the city's sweeping crackdown on gang crimes, China News Service said today.

Wen's wife Zhou Xiaoya stood trial with her husband for taking bribes with him. She was accused of illegally receiving 8.16 million yuan.

Three former police officers in charge of the city's criminal and economic investigations faced trial too. They allegedly gave Wen 4 million yuan to gain their former posts in Chongqing's police force.
officials in the city.


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