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Ex-officials go on trial for abuse of power

A FORMER district top official and a former chief prosecutor in east China's Anhui Province went on trial yesterday for abuse of power.

Zhang Zhi'an, former Communist Party Chief of Yingquan District, Fuyang City, appeared at the Wuhu City Intermediate People's Court yesterday, Xinhua news agency reported.

He is alleged to have used his influence to have Li Guofu arrested after the man repeatedly reported the official's misconduct to his superiors.

Also in court was Wang Cheng, the district's former chief prosecutor, who was charged with misusing his power to frame Li, chairman of a local real estate company.

Li, who used to work under Zhang as the director of an economic development bureau in Fuyang, hanged himself in prison in March last year.

Zhang got a letter complaining about corrupt activities in August 2007, the court heard. He suspected it was written by Li and asked Wang to organize corruption investigation into Li.

To consolidate charges against Li, Zhang fabricated documents. Local prosecutors were told to investigate Li's finances and the human resources authority told to investigate Li's children's jobs.

On August 26, 2007, Li was detained. On September 7, 2007, Li was arrested and accused of fabricating official documents and seals and embezzling nearly 1 million yuan (US$146,319) of public funds.

Li confessed to all the fabricated charges after being threatened that his family would all be punished if he did not, the court heard.

With these "confessions," Wang suggested prosecutors lay charges against Li.

Li's accusation of abuses of power included one involving the construction of a luxury government building designed to look like the White House in the United States.


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