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China ends first trials of mafia-style gang

English.news.cn   2014-04-19 18:12:45

XIANNING, Hubei, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The first trials of 36 members of an alleged mafia-style gang led by former mining tycoon Liu Han ended Saturday in central China's Hubei Province.

Liu Han, his brother Liu Wei and 34 other defendants were accused of crimes including organizing and leading a gang, intentional homicide and assault, illegal detention, blackmailing, illegal possession of guns and ammunition, and defrauding banks of loans, prosecutors said.

The presiding judge announced the conclusion of the first trials of Liu Han and another nine defendants after they made final statements.

Trials of the other 26 defendants ended on April 1, 2 and 14.

Trials of the ring members began on March 31.

According to the Xianning Intermediate People's Court, the 36 defendants were prosecuted in seven cases to make clear facts and protect the legal interests of the accused.

Most of the defendants, including Liu Wei, confessed and repented for their crimes and apologized to victims and their families, while Liu Han denied the charges, according to the court.

"For the crimes I have committed, I will accept any judgement according to the law to make the dead rest in peace," said Liu Wei in his final statement.

The verdict will be announced at a date yet to be decided.

Liu Han was board chairman of the Hanlong Group, the biggest private enterprise in Sichuan. He owned tens of subsidiary companies involved in electricity, energy, finance, mining, real estate and securities.

Prosecutors said the group led by Liu Han was massive in number of members, with clear organizers, leaders and backbones. The group accumulated wealth by illegal means to support its activities and possessed a lot of guns and ammunition for violent illegal confrontation.

Through illegal activities and under the cover-up and connivance of officials at state organs, the ring illegally gained control over and had a huge influence on Mianyang, Guanghan and Shifang cities and various local industries, severely damaging economic and social order, prosecutors said.

Rights of the defendants and their lawyers were guaranteed, the court said.

Liu Han made a self-defense statement for more than 140 minutes during the court debate.

His lawyer, Zhang Qingsong, said in court that the court investigation was gentle and fair, and that the tolerance, gentleness and rationality of the presiding judge won the lawyer's sincere respect.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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