Chi­nese Ne­ti­zens de­bate case of son who killed debt col­lec­tor while pro­tect­ing mum

New Straits Times - - World -

BEI­JING to death a man who had beaten and hu­mil­i­ated his mother.

In a coun­try where law en­force­ment is weak and fre­quently seen as cor­rupt, some Web users saw his ac­tions as a pro­por­tion­ate and jus­ti­fied re­sponse when po­lice failed to step in.

Oth­ers had in­sisted that “the law is the law”, and Yu should serve his full term.

Public fury had reached such a fever­ish pitch that the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate, China’s high­est in­ves­ti­ga­tion agency, had opened a rare probe into the in­ci­dent.

Court doc­u­ments re­vealed that Yu’s mother, Su Yinxia, had bor­rowed more than one mil­lion yuan (RM640,103) for her auto parts man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany from a real-es­tate de­vel­oper.

Lit­tle by lit­tle, she told po­lice, she had paid him back 1.5 mil­lion yuan. But the 10 per cent monthly in­ter­est pay­ments kept pil­ing up, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for her to get out from her debt.

The de­vel­oper, Wu Xuezhan — who had re­port­edly been de­tained for con­nec­tions to or­gan­ised crime — sent a gang of loan col­lec­tors to Su’s fac­tory in April 2015, where, Su said, they be­gan yelling at her and her son.

Yu said a man named Du Zhihao then ex­posed him­self.

A po­lice­man ar­rived a short time later, wit­nesses claimed.

But rather than step­ping in to stop the abuse, he is­sued a mild warn­ing: “If you’re here to set­tle debts, don’t fight, don’t use your fists. Just talk it out.”

Af­ter the of­fi­cer left, a fra­cas erupted. Su in­sisted that the debt col­lec­tors started the vi­o­lence. But Yu fin­ished it, pulling out a fruit knife and stab­bing four of the men, in­clud­ing Du, who died from blood loss.

Yu was con­victed of in­ten­tion­ally caus­ing harm that re­sulted in death, and sen­tenced to life.

Wu had since been ar­rested for gang-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia.

Much of the dis­cus­sion on so­cial me­dia cen­tred on whether the coun­try’s rule of law had de­te­ri­o­rated to the ex­tent that chil­dren needed to step in to pro­tect their par­ents when author­i­ties failed to help.

“If the law doesn’t bring jus­tice to this kind of per­son, what is the law for, any­way?” asked one user on the Weibo so­cial net­work.

“If any­one dared to do that to my mum, I’d kill them right away,” wrote an­other.

It was a sticky is­sue for the gov­ern­ment, which had strongly pro­moted filial piety — even pass­ing laws re­quir­ing chil­dren to visit their par­ents.

In an un­usual cri­tique of law en­force­ment, the na­tion­al­is­tic Global Times on Sun­day called for Yu to re­ceive a fair sen­tence.

“We wel­come the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate’s probe into whether Yu was le­git­i­mately act­ing in self-de­fence, and whether the po­lice of­fi­cer’s be­hav­iour can be con­sid­ered a dere­lic­tion of duty,” the col­umn said. AFP

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