2/16/2012

Soccer referees put in jail for taking bribes

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Former Chinese soccer referees Huang Junjie (top) and Lu Jun listen to the verdict at the Dandong Intermediate People's Court in Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning province, Feb 16, 2012.

DANDONG, Northeast China - A batch of former Chinese soccer referees including Lu Jun, Huang Junjie and Zhou Weixin were sentenced in prison for accepting bribes by a northeast Chinese court on Thursday.

China's former top soccer referee "Golden Whistle" Lu Jun, who was a 2002 World Cup referee, was sentenced to five and a half years in jail for accepting bribes for match-fixing.

The court also ordered the confiscation of his personal property worth 100,000 yuan ($15,870).

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Huang Junjie was sentenced to seven years in prison for accepting bribes as non-state staff and confiscation of his personal property worth 200,000 yuan ($31,760) by the court in the first instance.

Huang used to be one of the best-known soccer referees in China. He had a more than 20-year-long career as a referee and was certified as an international level referee in 1998.

Former soccer referee Zhou Weixin was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for accepting bribes as non-state staff.

The court has deliverd first verdict on graft charges of five former soccer referees.

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A police vehicle transporting the suspects arrives at the Dandong Intermediate People's Court before the verdict in Dandong, Feb 16, 2012.

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Former Chinese soccer referee Zhou Weixin (L) and Huang Junjie leaves the Dandong Intermediate People's Court after the verdict in Dandong, Feb 16, 2012

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Lawyer for defendant Lu Jun talks to media after the verdict by the Dandong Intermediate People's Court in Dandong, Feb 16, 2012.

(Xinhua)

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