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  Cadre held in mistress murder  



A Chinese lawmaker has been arrested in connection with the murder of his mistress in a car bomb attack earlier this month.

Duan Yihe, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Jinan Municipal People's Congress in Shandong Province, is alleged to have hired his nephew-in-law, a Jinan policeman, to plant a car bomb that killed Liu Haiping on July 9, according the Provincial Public Security Department.

Police found remnants of the bomb in Liu's car after the blast, which killed her on the spot.

Duan, 61, a deputy to the current National People's Congress - China's legislature - began an intimate relationship with Liu, who was 30 years younger, in 1993 when she worked at a local hotel, he admitted to police.

With Duan's help, Liu got a job in the Jinan Financial Bureau and later in the Municipal Bureau of State Land and Resources. Her two sisters also secured high-paying jobs.

An investigation revealed that Liu owned three houses and had more than two million yuan (US$263,000) in personal assets. But the source of her property is unclear.

Duan had been trying to break up with Liu since 1999 due to what he termed "conflicts" in their relationship, but Liu refused, authorities said.

Duan told police he wanted to arrange a traffic accident with the help of his nephew-in-law, Chen Zhi, an officer with the Jinan Municipal Public Security Bureau, so that Liu would "lose her ability to think."

On July 9, Chen planted explosives in Liu's car and set off the blast by remote control when Liu was driving, police said. Chen has been detained.

Witnesses said parts of Liu's body were lying on the road and her car was destroyed. A taxi that crashed into Liu's car was engulfed in flames. The driver was injured but survived.

Duan yesterday was stripped of his membership in the national legislature at a conference of the Standing Committee of the Shandong Provincial People's Congress.

He was also expelled from the Communist Party of China.

Duan, who had been working in the CPC's organization departments at county, municipal and provincial levels since 1976, was promoted to chairman of the Standing Committee of the Jinan municipal legislature in 2001.

Also yesterday, Wu Guanzheng, the Party's top discipline official, again underscored the importance of preventing graft.

Wu proposed four measures to curb corruption over the long term: intensifying Party discipline, improving supervision, building more efficient systems and ensuring healthy lifestyles for officials.





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