Liu death sen­tences up­held

For­mer ty­coon amassed great wealth through mafia-like acts

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YAN zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A court in Hubei province up­held on Thurs­day the death sen­tences passed on for­mer min­ing ty­coon Liu Han and his brother Liu Wei.

The High Peo­ple’s Court re­jected ap­peals by the broth­ers, who were con­victed of run­ning a mafia-style gang, and re­ferred the sen­tences to the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court for fi­nal re­view.

Liu Han is the for­mer chair­man of Han­long Group, the largest pri­vate en­ter­prise in Sichuan province.

“The mafi­a­like gang headed by Liu Han and Liu Wei used vi­o­lent, threat­en­ing or other cruel means to kill, in­jure or il­le­gally de­tain oth­ers, and bribed govern­ment officials to mo­nop­o­lize re­sources and cover their crimes,” said a state­ment by the High Peo­ple’s Court. “They should be sen­tenced to death.”

In May, the Xian­ning In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court con­victed Liu Han, Liu Wei and 34 other de­fen­dants of mur­der and or­ga­niz­ing, lead­ing or par­tic­i­pat­ing in the mafia-style gang.

The broth­ers and three oth­ers were sen­tenced to death.

The court heard that 49-yearold Liu Han owned more than 70 sub­sidiary com­pa­nies in­volved in elec­tric­ity, en­ergy, fi­nance, min­ing, real es­tate and se­cu­ri­ties at home and abroad. His to­tal as­sets were val­ued at 40 bil­lion yuan ($6.4 bil­lion).

The court found that Liu Han started to gen­er­ate il­le­gal in­come by run­ning gam­bling houses in Guang­han, Sichuan province, 20 years ago.

He es­tab­lished the Han­long Group in 1997, and from then on he and Liu Wei re­cruited gang mem­bers and built up a crim­i­nal or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the court, the broth­ers as­sumed dif­fer­ent roles, with Liu Han re­spon­si­ble for lead­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion and for de­ci­sion-mak­ing, while Liu Wei hired “hatchet men” or “body­guards”.

Eight peo­ple were killed by mem­bers of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, and the court said Liu Wei was mainly re­spon­si­ble for the deaths. The group made “tremen­dous” fi­nan­cial gains through mo­nop­o­liz­ing lo­cal re­sources and en­gag­ing in or­ga­nized crime.

It planned and con­ducted mur­ders and se­ri­ous as­saults, de­tained its en­e­mies, par­tic­i­pated in ex­tor­tion and il­le­gal trades, pos­sessed weapons and sub­jected peo­ple to tyranny, ac­cord­ing to the court.

The 36 de­fen­dants were con­victed in seven tri­als. The gang was the largest of its kind to go on trial in re­cent years, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua News Agency.

Li Wei, of the Bei­jing Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion, said af­ter the High Peo­ple’s Court re­leased its de­ci­sion: “The court held pub­lic hear­ings on their ap­peals and lis­tened care­fully to the lawyers’ de­fense opin­ions to fully pro­tect their le­gal rights.

“Con­sid­er­ing they op­er­ated a cruel, mafia-like gang, the death sen­tence was ap­pro­pri­ate.”

XIE HUANCHI / XIN­HUA

Con­victed for­mer min­ing ty­coon Liu Han (hand­cuffed at left), who led a Mafia-like gang and com­mit­ted var­i­ous vi­o­lent crimes, lis­tens as a judge reads out his sen­tence along with those of oth­ers in the case on Thurs­day in Xian­ning, Hubei province. The provin­cial High Peo­ple’s Court re­jected the ap­peals by Liu Han and his brother Liu Wei, and the death sen­tences will be passed to the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court for fi­nal re­view.

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