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Ex-vice mayor of Hangzhou may face court

A FORMER vice mayor of Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, may go on trial around mid February for alleged corruption, as the provincial disciplinary supervising authority has referred the case to prosecutors, today's Xinmin Evening News reported.

Xu Maiyong, 50, allegedly took bribes of more than 100 million yuan (US$14.65 million) in land sales to three real estate groups. His wife Qi Jiqiu is also in custody. No other local government officials were involved so far in the case, the report said citing sources close to the matter.

All three groups had acquired land in Hangzhou's Xihu District while Xu was the district's Party secretary from 2006 to 2008.

Xu is also accused of promoting some officials to enlarge his personal power base in the government and allegedly used his power to buy homes cheaper than their market values. He was also allegedly involved in " power for sex" trades, the report cited close sources as saying.

Xu is the highest ranking official ever probed in Hangzhou. His case has rocked the local government as many officials have been required to assist the investigation.

Xu was sacked on April 24 from his post in charge of Hangzhou's infrastructure construction, including the city's eastern expansion project and subway.

Earlier media reports said the investigation was connected with the Xixi National Wetland Park project, the only wetland national park in China.

Several officials have been punished for misconduct in connection with the project.

Wu Shaowen, vice director of Xihu District's construction bureau, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve after being convicted of taking bribes worth a total of almost 10 million yuan in February.


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