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Mistress on trial over secret salt bribes

A MASSEUSE in south China Guangdong Province faced trial for bribery on Monday, accused of taking 659,000 yuan (US$96,540) while the mistress of the provincial salt administration's former chief.

Bai Liqing, who used to be a masseuse in Guangdong, confessed in court that she began to sleep with Shen Zhiqiang, 61, the former general manager of Guangdong Salt Industry Corporation since 2002.

She denied taking bribes from He Weiwen, a local carton factory boss, with Shen in an under-the-table bidding deal in which she acted as the go-between. She said she took the money only because Shen told her to.

Bai also told the court that Shen knew she was also sleeping with He.

Bai's confession contradicted her former patron. Sentenced to four years' jail in December, Shen argued in court that he was innocent because Bai took all the money.

Shen said he agreed with the under-the-table deal only because his mistress forced him to.

Besides Shen, six other officials in the bureau were also involved in the case, believed to be one of the nation's largest salt-related bribery scandals.


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