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8 'gang of four' followers are sentenced for treason

Eight followers of the radical ''gang of four'' were tried and sentenced to prison for treason, reports reaching Peking said Monday.

The officials were given up to 18 years in prison for joining Jiang Qing and attempting to overthrow the goverment, the pro-Peking newspaper Wen Wei Bao reported. The convictions represented a show of strength for Vice-Chairman Deng Xiaoping before this week's start of the important 12th party congress, which is viewed as a final consolidation of Mr. Deng's policies.

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The most prominent of the eight Shanghai officials was Xu Jingxian, the ''chief of staff'' of the gang of four's Shanghai associates - Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen.

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