Tycoon Mou, now 75, released from jail after serving 16 years of sentence
A wealthy Chinese business mogul was released from jail on Tuesday after completing a 16-year sentence, Chinese media reported.
At 6 am on Tuesday, Mou Qizhong, a well-known business tycoon, was freed from Hongshan Prison in Hubei province, China Business Journal reported, quoting Mou’s lawyer, Xia Zongwei.
Later, Nande Group, the company Mou had led as chairman, also posted a notice of his release, the journal said.
Xia told the paper: “While serving the sentence, Mou did not give up thinking about development paths for the Chinese economy, including improvements in the Three Gorges Dam area,” and he hoped to dig out and develop various cultural features in the area to accelerate local economic development, the paper said.
Mou, now 75, was born in Chongqing municipality. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2000 for bank fraud. He persisted in physical exercise in the jail, the report said, adding that it was his third release.
His first and second sentences, based on political and commercial charges, were handed down in 1974 and 1983, it said, though it didn’t provide details.
Under Chinese law, inmates can qualify for sentence reductions if they perform well in prison. Typically, a life sentence is reduced to 20 years if a convict has no more offenses during the first two years in prison. The penalty can be further reduced to 15 years if the convict behaves well.
Xia, the lawyer, told TheCover.cn, an online news application based in Sichuan province, that Mou had obtained external information from newspapers, magazines and TV programs provided by the prison, including People’s Daily and CCTV news.
“While reading the newspaper, he made notes. He also learned about the law and public policy in the prison library,” it quoted Xia as saying.
She said that her client always kept his eyes on social developments and reforms made by the government in recent years, especially those in judicial and economic fields.
Mou had a cerebral hemorrhage when he was 70, Xia was quoted as saying. She added that the prison paid great attention to his condition and provided medical care.
Mou was something of a legend in Chinese business. He became well-known for getting four civil aircraft from Russia in exchange for a number of light industrial products, the report said.