District cadre faces Guangdong court

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2007, 12:00am

A district legislature member in Zhanjiang , Guangdong province, went on trial yesterday amid tight security.

Mazhang District People's Congress deputy Peng Guifa faced several counts including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and disrupting public order in the Zhanjiang Intermediate People's Court. The trial of Peng, with more than 200 officers in court, comes as many grass-roots mainland institutions risk being hijacked by influential businessmen and gangsters.

Despite links with gangsters and illicit activities for more than a decade, Peng, 43, was elected to the district legislature last year.

Peng first gained notoriety in 1992 when he allegedly shot dead police officer Li Chuangsheng , but prosecutors dropped the charges in 1997 for insufficient evidence.

He was also involved in a shoot-out in 1994 over the illegal confinement of a local farmer and nearly killed police officer Lin Tusheng , but was later only jailed for 28 months for the abduction.

His downfall was only made possible after Lin Shuiqi , a provincial people's congress deputy, bought the sugar cane processing company in 2003. Peng collected protection money from the plant.

Peng was arrested in March for allegedly sabotaging the sugar company's operations, resulting in 7.86 million yuan in losses.

Ministry of Public Security officers are reportedly in Zhanjiang collecting evidence hoping to reopen the Li case.