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Village official gets death penalty for hired killing of rival
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A village official in east China's Zhejiang Province has been sentenced to death for hiring five men to murder an election rival, a local court said on Tuesday.

Wang Bentie, head of the villagers' committee of Xiawan Village in Yongjia County, committed the crime to retain his post, said the Intermediate People's Court of Wenzhou City.

Wang spent 8,000 yuan (US$1,170) to hire five men, who attacked candidate Wang Tianhou on June 29 with knives.

Wang Tianhou died from his injuries three days later in the hospital.

One of the hired men was also sentenced to death on Monday, while the other four got six to 15 years in prison.

Meanwhile, another villager in northeast China's Liaoning Province went on trial for killing five people in an election dispute, the Intermediate People's Court of Jinzhou City said on Tuesday.

Li Hui was elected head of the villagers' committee of Zhaoyingzi Village in Beizhen City in April last year.

But he was unable to take office as Ye Xiang, the husband of his cousin, informed authorities that Li was involved in vote-buying.

Li killed Ye's family of five with a knife on August 25.

The court has not yet reached a verdict in Li's case.

(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2008)

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