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Mao's widow may escape execution; new trials due

China's leaders have apparently decided not to execute Mao Tse-tungs's widow, but will place the late Communist Party chairman's nephew and thousands of other people on trial for crimes allegedly committed during the Cultural Revolution, diplomatic sources said. The second round of trials against "lesser officials" who helped run the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution is expected to start sometime after the 10 principal defendants are sentenced the 10 principal defendants are sentenced for their own crimes.

Hearings against the 10 ended two weeks, ago, but the court's verdict and sentencing have been delayed as China's leadership struggled to decide the fate of Jiang Qing, Mao's widow and the star defendant.

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