Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 12:12 UK

China ex-police boss Wen Qiang sentenced to death

Wen Qiang arrives at court
Security was tight as Wen Qiang arrived for sentencing

A former senior police officer in China has been sentenced to death for corruption and rape.

Wen Qiang was charged with accepting vast sums of money from criminal gangs in the southern city of Chongqing in exchange for protection from the law.

He was also found guilty of rape and failing to account for his assets, says state news agency Xinhua.

Wen is the most senior official to be charged under a major corruption probe in the city.

His wife, Zhou Xiaoya, was tried at the same time and sentenced to eight years in jail for taking bribes, the Chongqing News newspaper reported.

Three other senior Chongqing police officials received sentences ranging from six months to 20 years, reports said.

Wen was convicted of taking more than 16m yuan ($2.3m; £1.5m) in bribes to turn a blind eye to crime.

Xie Caiping (Nov 2009)
Xie Caiping was known as the Godmother of Chongqing

He also was found guilty of raping a university student in 2007 and 2008, Chongqing News reported.

The case has attracted huge media attention across China.

The investigation began last summer and more than 780 people have been prosecuted.

Wen's sister-in-law, Xie Caiping - described as the Godmother of Chongqing - was jailed for 18 years last November for crimes including running gambling dens and protecting drug users.

She was reported to have earned more than 2m yuan ($292,000; £179,000) from crime.

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