Deputy police chief gets death with reprieve in NE China gang trial

16:43, November 24, 2009      

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A former police chief in Tonghua City, whom locals called the "mafia boss in uniform," was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve in northeast China's Jilin Province on Tuesday.

The Intermediate People's Court in Liaoyuan City at a first-instance trial convicted Wang Yufan, former deputy head of the Tonghua Public Security Bureau, of 15 charges, including organizing and leading criminal gangs, taking bribes and trafficking drugs.

Two of Wang's former fellow officers, Zhang Xiuwen and Liu Jianhui, were sentenced to life imprisonment for organizing criminal gangs and embezzlement at the trial.

The court also sentenced 27 others involved in Wang's case to jail terms of up to 20 years.

The three principals, Wang, Zhang and Liu, have filed appeals.

The court heard that the 47-year-old police chief abused his power during his tenure from 2002 to 2009. He and members of his gang used illegal means, such as providing "protective umbrellas" for crimes, threatening and assaulting people, to accumulate wealth. He and Liu jointly embezzled 2.4 million yuan (351,000 U.S. dollars) and took bribes worth 15.7 million yuan.

Wang became a policeman in 1982, and was promoted to bureau vice director in 1998.

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