China`s celebrated woman mayor faces corruption charges

Last Updated: Saturday, June 5, 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 5, 2010 - 16:14

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