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December 4, 2009

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Ringleaders of crime gang face execution

FIVE members or a notorious gang in southern China were yesterday sentenced to death for the murders of four people.

Xu Jianqiang, who was also convicted of organizing the 43-strong gang, received the death penalty after a first- instance trial in a court in Yangjiang City in Guangdong Province, for aiding and abetting in the murders of three people.

The Yangjiang Intermediate People's Court also handed down a death sentence to Li Jianding, who was convicted of murdering one person.

Lin Guoqin, Huang Bo and Lin Yueyun were also sentenced to death, but all received a two-year reprieve.

Ringleaders Xu and Lin Guoqin were also deprived of their political rights for life and fined 310 million yuan (US$45.4 million) and 325 million yuan.

The other 38 gang members received jail terms from 15 months to life.

Ruan Shiguang, Zeng Jihui, Zeng Guangyin and Liang Kaizi were all murdered after "business disputes."

The gang members were convicted of other crimes, including running illegal gambling dens, extortion, false imprisonment, and illegal business operations.

It was a highly anticipated day of reckoning as the court began hearing the complex cases on June 16.


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