Former Chinese Police Chief's Gang Trial Ends

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) - A Chinese court has concluded the trial of a former police chief accused of protecting gangs, accepting bribes and rape in a southwestern China megacity with a long history of corruption.

The trial of Wen Qiang ended early Sunday, the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People's Court said in a statement. It said a verdict would be announced at a later date.

Wen's trial is the latest in a series of gang prosecutions in Chongqing that have featured lurid testimony about sex, corruption and the violent underworld. Chongqing, an industrial metropolis in the southwest, has a long history of underworld activities and was the target of a government crackdown last year.

The trials have exposed a tangled web of links between government officials and police officers who sought to provide cover for the crime syndicates. Up to 2,900 suspects, including 14 high-ranking government and police officials, have been detained.

Prosecutors accused Wen of accepting bribes worth more than 16 million yuan ($2.4 million) from gang members he gave legal protection to while he was director of the Chongqing Municipal Judicial Bureau, according to state media reports.

Wen, 55, is also accused of raping a university student in 2007 and 2008. Wen's wife and three senior former Chongqing policemen were also put on trial with him on charges of taking bribes in exchange for protecting gang members.

Wen was detained in August and accused of protecting the gang operations masterminded by his sister-in-law, Xie Caiping, 46, known as the "godmother" of the Chongqing underworld. Xie was sentenced to 18 years in prison in November for running illegal casinos and bribing government officials.

Xie was notorious for her toughness and a lavish lifestyle that reportedly included luxury villas and a stable of 16 young lovers.

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