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China charges former senior police chief with murder, graft

[BEIJING] Chinese prosecutors have charged the former police chief of China's northern region of Inner Mongolia with murder, bribery and possession of fire arms and explosives, state media reported on Thursday.

Zhao Liping was in charge of police in Inner Mongolia from 2005 until 2010 and had worked for almost three decades as a police officer.

He was detained on suspicion of the murder of a woman last year. State media has previously said the woman was his mistress, whom he stabbed and shot and then burned the body after she threatened to expose his corrupt behaviour.

The official China Daily, citing a statement from the state prosecutor, said Zhao also abused his position to "gain benefits for others" and took bribes.

It gave no other details.

The ruling Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said last year that Zhao took bribes, illegally owned firearms and was an adulterer.

Party members are supposed to be upholders of public morality and are banned from having extra-marital affairs.

Courts answer to the party and never challenge its accusations.

It has not been possible to reach Zhao for comment and unclear if he has retained a lawyer.

President Xi Jinping has vowed to root out corruption in the party since taking over as its chief in 2012, and as head of state in 2013, warning its survival is at risk if it does not address the problem seriously.

Inner Mongolia, which covers more than a 10th of China's land mass and has the country's largest coal reserves, is a strategically located part of the country on the borders of Russia and Mongolia, and also politically sensitive.

It was rocked by protests in 2011 after an ethnic Mongol herder was killed by a truck after taking part in protests against pollution caused by a coal mine, and there has been periodic unrest since then.

REUTERS