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Chinese school boss gets death sentence for attacks

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, May 18 (Reuters) The multi-millionaire head of a Chinese private tuition firm has been sentenced to death for paying gangs to attack competitors in a bid to win their business, a newspaper today said.

Lu Yunpeng, 35, was among 15 people given death sentences or jailed in connection with the grisly attacks -- one of them fatal -- on private teachers in several cities, the Beijing Times said.

Lu was sentenced by a court in Zhengzhou, capital of the northern province of Henan. His cousin, Zhao Mingjie, an employee of the company, and two other co-defendants, Zhao Zhunzhang and Zhang Zhanke, were also sentenced to death.

Eleven others received jail terms ranging from life to a few years in a case that involved ''beating, disfigurement and other measures of reprisal'', the paper said.

The court found that last year Lu paid Zhao Zhunzhang and four other people 10,000 yuan (1,250 dollars) each to attack a man, surnamed Qiao, who opened a school in the Henan city of Kaifeng.

The victim was choked to death, the paper said.

Lu also paid thugs to assault two other competitors; one of the victims suffered serious burns after having sulphuric acid poured on his face and body.

Last March Chinese newspapers reported the execution of a millionaire businessman who paid his brother and cousin to kill a blackmailer privy to a failed murder attempt on a former business partner.

REUTERS SB ND1414

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