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China officials get up to 11 years over vendor death: media

Published on Dec 27, 2013 7:21 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese court on Friday sentenced four government workers to between three and a half and 11 years' jail over a dispute that left a roadside vendor dead, state media reported, unleashing fresh accusations of official privilege.

The death of 56-year-old watermelon seller Deng Zhengjia in July in the central province of Hunan - which domestic media blamed on the local enforcement officers, or "chengguan", but the county government said happened spontaneously - had triggered public fury over perceived abuse of power.

Four chengguan convicted of intentional injury over the event received sentences of three and a half, four, six and 11 years, the official news agency Xinhua said on a social media account.

Local media reported at the time that six chengguan were initially detained, and that officers beat Deng to death for operating without a licence, with one smashing the vendor's head with a metal measuring weight.

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