Liu Han, former chairman of Hanlong Mining, smokes a cigarette during a conference in Mianyang, Sichuan province, in this file picture taken March 21, 2008. REUTERS
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A former Chinese mining tycoon was sentenced to death Friday for leading a crime gang that killed rivals, a state news agency reported, in a case that revealed ties between organized crime and politicians.The Liu brothers and their associates have been charged with 15 crimes, including murder, assault, illegal detention, blackmail and operating casinos.Prosecutors say their criminal activities, dating back to 1993, helped them amass 40 billion yuan ($6.4 billion) in assets with businesses in finance, energy, real estate and mining, Xinhua has said.The gang is accused in the deaths of nine people, five of whom were shot, according to earlier reports. The group is accused of fostering ties with politicians in Sichuan that helped Liu Han win appointment as a delegate of the provincial advisory body for three terms, according to earlier Xinhua reports.
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