China jails six more in Shanghai scandal

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Beijing, Sep 26: China has jailed six more former officials and businessmen involved in a financial scandal that toppled Shanghai's then-Communist Party chief last year, a Hong Kong newspaper said today.

The six were given terms ranging from three years to life yesterday for taking or giving bribes and misusing Shanghai's social security fund, the Beijing-backed Wen Wei Po said.

Qin Yu, former deputy head of a Shanghai district government office, was jailed for life for taking a bribe of 6 million yuan, and Sun Luyi, the former head of the Shanghai Communist, Party Committee general office, was jailed to 15 years.

Two others convicted were Ling Baoheng, former head of the Shanghai state assets administration, who was jailed for eight years for taking a 500,000 yuan bribe, and Wu Hongmei, his former deputy, who was given 11 years, the report added.

They belonged to a network of suspected corruption centred on Chen Liangyu, the former Party secretary of Shanghai who was sacked in September 2006 and now faces criminal investigation.

With his grip on China's financial centre, Chen had bucked at the authority of President Hu Jintao, who is set to gain another five years as national Party chief and consolidate his authority at a key congress opening in mid-October.

It is the latest conviction in the social security scandal before the Party conclave, a warning that Hu wants wayward officials and potential rivals to fall into line.

Sources have told Reuters that Chen himself is likely to face trial after the Party congress.

Reuters>

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