Mur­der sus­pect likely to stay in Ja­pan, ex­perts say

Mother ‘has right to ap­peal’ to a Chi­nese court for com­pen­sa­tion

China Daily - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­

Le­gal ex­perts said on Tues­day that a Chi­nese sus­pect who will stand trial in Ja­pan af­ter be­ing ac­cused of killing a Chi­nese woman last year is un­likely to be re­turned to China, but the vic­tim’s mother could file a civil law­suit in China to de­mand com­pen­sa­tion if the man is con­victed.

Jiang Ge, 24, a grad­u­ate stu­dent from Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, who was study­ing in Ja­pan was found dead with mul­ti­ple stab wounds in the cor­ri­dor of her Tokyo apart­ment on Nov 3 last year.

Ja­panese po­lice said in late November that they had ar­rested a sus­pect, Chen Shifeng, who is the ex-boyfriend of Jiang’s room­mate Liu Xin. Chen was charged with mur­der in De­cem­ber.

The case will be pub­licly heard in Tokyo on Dec 11, and is ex­pected to last five days.

Although China has made no re­quest for Chen’s return, the topic has been widely discussed on so­cial me­dia.

Huang Feng, a law pro­fes­sor spe­cial­iz­ing in international crim­i­nal law and international le­gal co­op­er­a­tion at Beijing Nor­mal Univer­sity, said there is lit­tle chance Chen will be ex­tra­dited from Ja­pan.

“Chi­nese ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties can han­dle the case only when the sus­pect is con­trolled by us, but now he isn’t,” he said. “Mean­while, Ja­pan will refuse any re­quest from China to return Chen, be­cause the case is go­ing to be tried. The crime hap­pened in Ja­pan, so it will be bet­ter to han­dle it in that coun­try. It’s more con­ve­nient for Ja­panese po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate.”

There is no ex­tra­di­tion treaty be­tween the two coun­tries, he added.

Ruan Chuan­sheng, a crim­i­nal lawyer who stud­ied international ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion in Shang­hai, agreed. Based on his past re­search, when a non-Ja­panese per­son is in­volved in a crime in Ja­pan, the coun­try will not repa­tri­ate the per­son it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing, re­gard­less what kind of visa is car­ried, Ruan said.

“Solv­ing the case is the pri­or­ity,” he said.

If ex­tra­di­tion is pur­sued, China would nor­mally make the re­quest, he added. “But so far it hasn’t done that, so I don’t think Chen’s case will be trans­ferred.”

Both le­gal pro­fes­sion­als said the vic­tim’s fam­ily could seek com­pen­sa­tion by fil­ing a civil law­suit against Chen in a Chi­nese court if he is con­victed.

The vic­tim’s mother, Jiang Qi­u­lian, has pe­ti­tioned the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment for Chen to re­ceive the death penalty should he be found guilty.

“No mat­ter whether Chen is in China or not, the mother has the right to ap­peal to a Chi­nese court, such as one in Qing­dao, for com­pen­sa­tion un­der the Civil Pro­ce­dure Law,” Ruan said.

He added that courts usu­ally will not ac­cept such a case un­til a de­fen­dant has been con­victed and sen­tenced. Huang said a con­vic­tion would strongly sup­port a civil law­suit against a killer, who may or may not have the re­sources to pay.

While courts do not force fam­ily mem­bers to pay com­pen­sa­tion for the crimes of adult rel­a­tives, pay­ment ar­range­ments may be made pri­vately, out­side the court sys­tem, by fam­ily mem­bers.

In seek­ing a death penalty, the vic­tim’s mother, Jiang Qi­u­lian, who is cur­rently in Ja­pan, held four ac­tiv­i­ties to drum up sup­port, gath­er­ing sig­na­tures in Tokyo’s Ike­bukuro dis­trict over the week­end. An on­line pe­ti­tion to col­lect sig­na­tures is still on­go­ing, ac­cord­ing to the mother’s mi­cro blog on Thurs­day, but it is set to end on Nov 30.

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