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January 6, 2010

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Trial begins for 'murder club' gang boss Gong in Chongqing

A MAN who allegedly led a "murder club" in Chongqing Municipality and implicated his defending lawyer went on trial yesterday for charges of murder, bribery, drug dealing and possession of deadly weapons.

Chongqing No.1 Intermediate People's Court heard that Gong Gangmo's gang was responsible for at least four murder cases and formed a strictly organized criminal ring that controlled casinos, loan sharks, and drug selling in the city, according to People's Daily online.

Prosecutors said Gong started the gang with Fan Qihang in 2005. They pulled in huge money by loan sharking and opening casinos.

Fan was in charge of the recruitment of new gang members, mostly prison convicts. Gong paid these henchmen 2,000 to 5,000 yuan every month according to their rank in the gang.

Another 33 gang members were charged with taking part in the criminal gang. The trail will continue for seven days, the report said yesterday.

In 2008, Gong ordered the gang to shoot dead a man named Li Minghang just because one of Li's henchmen talked "rudely" to him.

The case shocked Chongqing police and prompted them to crack down on gangs two months ahead of schedule.

The police have found more than 15 pistols and shotguns, 500 bullets, and several grenades in the den of Gong's gang.

Gong's case also toppled his first lawyer, Li Zhuang, in Chongqing's massive crackdown for perjury on criminal rings.

The case against Li raised concerns about the independence of lawyers in the trials of the court.

Gong is now represented by a lawyer designated by Chongqing Bureau of Justice.

Gong allegedly told the investigating police that Li advised him to falsely state that his confession was compelled by torture while he was hung on the roof for eight days.

Li was dealt with in another case.

Li's lawyer has requested that the court should finish the trial of Gong first so that it would be clear whether Li was guilty of perjury.


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