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Former China mining boss denies charge of leading gang

Published on Apr 3, 2014 11:43 AM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A former Chinese mining magnate with suspected links to the eldest son of retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang has denied leading a 36-member gang on a crime spree of murder and gun-running over the past two decades.

Liu Han, the former chairman of unlisted Hanlong Group and once ranked the 230th richest person in China, went on trial on Monday in central Hubei province along with the other members of his "mafia-style" gang.

The probe marks one of the highest-profile cases against a private businessman since President Xi Jinping took power last year, vowing to crack down on corruption.

Liu, who was arrested last year, faces charges ranging from extortion and murder to gun-running, carried out in southwestern Sichuan province. His gang is accused of nine murders.

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