BEIJING (AP) _ Authorities in northern China have linked 10 members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement to alleged leaks of state secrets, and are building cases against at least four of them, a state-run newspaper reported Saturday.

Of the practitioners named by the Legal Daily as having helped obtain and leak Communist Party documents, at least four were government officials, including two who worked in air defense. Their positions reflect the influence of the popular exercise and meditation movement.

In the eyes of Chinese leaders, the threat posed by Falun Gong was only heightened by the inroads it had made among urban Chinese, including police officers, government bureaucrats, Communist Party members and others upon whom the government relies.

The government banned Falun Gong in July and is still trying to eradicate the group, which had 70 million members by one official estimate.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of the group's principal members have been arrested in anticipation of show trials. Some have been accused of violating China's vague state secrets law, a measure sometimes used against political dissidents. Others are expected to be tried, perhaps as early as next week, under recently tightened anti-cult laws.

The 10 Falun Gong practitioners named in the Legal Daily were from northern Hebei province, although it was unclear from the report whether all 10 were under arrest. The newspaper mentioned only that cases were being investigated against the four officials, including Xu Xinmu, who worked in the provincial government.

A Hong Kong-based rights group said Saturday that nine principal members of Falun Gong in Hebei province, which borders Beijing, have been sentenced without trial to labor camps for between two and three years. One of them, Zhou Ximeng, was also named in the Legal Daily report.

The newspaper said Zhou obtained information about how the government planned to deal with Falun Gong from Xu and helped disseminate it abroad through the Internet, ``creating a serious leak of secrets.''

Xu was due to be tried last week but court officials have refused to tell his family whether a trial actually took place, the Information Center said.