Villagers tried over sacking of 'corrupt' cadres

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 April, 1999, 12:00am

FIVE representatives of a village in the northern province of Hebei have gone on trial over the sacking of their corrupt rulers, according to Nanfang Weekly.

Residents of Baozi village in Anping county sacked the entire village committee during a mass rally last July, saying they could no longer tolerate heavy taxes and graft.

They did not elect a new committee at the meeting.

Instead, they organised several missions to report the situation to the authorities of Dahe town, which directly administers the village and the county.

With their grievances not addressed, the village sent a mission of 100 members to the provincial capital, Shijiazhuang, on December 11 but they were stopped and seven were arrested by Anping police, the weekly reported.

Five were later charged by the county court with nine offences including disrupting social order and obstructing public service.

The case was tried in the county court over four days last week.

Defence lawyers argued that the dismissal of the cadres, though probably not appropriately handled, was not an offences.

The court is yet to hand down its verdict.

The weekly said the village committee members never paid for meals in village restaurants.

As compensation, restaurant owners were asked to collect from villagers grain that was supposedly to be sold to the state.

To make matters worse, the paper said, the quantity of grain that each farmer had to 'sell' to the committee had more than doubled from 60kg in 1996 to 130kg last year but the villagers were always given uncashable IOUs.

In addition, the village received a 1.8 million yuan (HK$1.7 million) loan from the World Bank in 1995 for agricultural development but the project had never materialised.

The village cadres also inflated the village's income per capita from 250 yuan to more than 2,500 yuan in order to overstate their performance, the Nanfang Weekly said.