China`s celebrated woman mayor faces corruption charges
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Last Updated: Saturday, June 05, 2010, 16:14
  
Beijing: China's Communist Party has ordered a probe against a woman mayor charging her with striking questionable deals in insider trading.

Li Qihong, regarded as celebrated mayor for carrying out extensive development work in her area was taken away for questioning by officials of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, Chen Genkai, Party secretary of Zhongshan area said.

"Li is suspected to have been involved in insider dealing in the stock market and abused her power for personal gains in the city's real estate industry," 'China Daily' quoted him as saying.

Five of Li's relatives and five other officials and business representatives suspected to be involved in Li's case, are also being investigated.

Li's husband, Lin Yong'an, 53, was the vice-chairman of the Zhongshan association of golf, while Li's younger brother Li Qiming was the manager of a local property development company.

Both are suspects in the investigation, Chen said. Li, 54, who was promoted as the mayor of Zhongshan in South China's Guangdong province in January 2007, was chosen as one of the top 10 outstanding mayors of China in 2009 for her work in urban construction, environmental protection, finance and transportation industries.

Reportedly, Li is the first woman mayor to be placed under investigation for economic crimes on the mainland.

Zhongshan Public Utilities Groups Co Ltd, a Shenzhen Stock Exchange listed company, rose to ceiling in 16 successive trading days in August 2007. Li is suspected to be the person behind the unusual growth in the company's stock, according to local media reports.

She was accused of illegally revealing company's reshuffle in advance.

Tan Qingzhong, chairman of Zhongshan Public Utilities Groups Co Ltd, and the company's general manager Zheng Xuling have also been removed from their posts pending further investigation.

The action against her was prominently highlighted in the state run media. Several top official facing corruption charges were sternly dealt with in the recent months some more were even give death sentences. Their appeals were pending in higher courts.

More than 100 senior Party and government officials from 21 prefecture-level cities in Guangdong province were sent to attend a three-day anti-corruption course after Li's case came to light.

The special course that ended on Thursday attracted senior officials from the city's discipline inspection commissions, organisation departments, public security bureaus, courts and procuratorates.

In addition to attending such classes, the officials were arranged to visit prisons and listen to special lectures by corrupt officials serving jail terms, the daily reported.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, June 05, 2010, 16:14


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