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Police officers charge ex-chief with corruption in China county
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17:26, August 21, 2009

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Chinese authorities began an investigation Friday into corruption accusations brought by 103 police officers against their ex-chief in northwestern county of Huxian, Shaanxi Province.

The police officers at the Huxian Public Security Bureau posted an article on Tianya.cn last weekend, complaining that their former bureau director, Wen Zhigang, misappropriated their funds for use in a bureau housing project.

The article aroused the attention of the online community, as it is unusual for police officers to air grievances online.

"An investigation team arrived at the county today to probe into the case," Duan Yaming, a government spokesman of Xi'an, the provincial capital that oversees Huxian, told Xinhua Friday.

The team members were from discipline inspection, politics and law committees of the Xi'an Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, Du said. The Xi'an Public Security Bureau also joined in the investigation.

"They will announce the investigation results as soon as possible," he said.

It is the second investigation into the case, according to a statement issued by the Xi'an Public Security Bureau Wednesday.

"In August last year, the Xi'an bureau had carried out an investigation into similar accusations, but did not find any wrongdoing," the statement said. "Because the recent online article listed new accusations, we decided to re-investigate the case."

According to the accusations, Wen did not invite a bid before the construction of the police officers' housing project several years ago, and Wen directly entrusted the project to one of his friends, a local construction company boss.

Wen allegedly misappropriated more than 40 million yuan (5.9 million U.S. dollars) his subordinates raised to build the apartments and 5 million yuan of discounts promised by the construction company.

In addition, Wen was given a car worth 360,000 yuan after the project was finished, which was believed by his officers to be a bribe.

Wen, who has been transferred to the Household Registration Department of Xi'an Public Security Bureau since November 2007, declined to comment on the accusations against him Friday.

"The superior authorities are investigating the case and it is not appropriate for me to give a response," he told Xinhua.


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