XIANNING, Hubei, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Xianning Intermediate People's Court will announce the verdict in the trial of former mining tycoon Liu Han on Friday, the court said on Monday.
The first trials of 36 members of an allegedly mafia-like gang led by Liu began on March 31 in Xianning, Hubei Province.
Liu Han, his brother Liu Wei and 34 other defendants were accused of crimes including organizing, leading and participating in a criminal gang and intentional homicide.
The trials, which saw 36 defendants simultaneously prosecuted in seven cases, ended on April 19. They were the largest criminal group of its kind on trial in China in recent years.
Earlier reports said most of the defendants, including Liu Wei, had confessed to and repented for their crimes and apologized to victims and their families, while Liu Han denied all charges.
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.
From 1993, Liu Han, Liu Wei and Sun Xiaodong, who is being dealt with in a separate case, made their money running gambling dens and dealing in construction materials and futures in Sichuan's cities of Guanghan and Chengdu as well as Shanghai and Chongqing, according to a prosecutors' statement released when the trials began on March 31.
From 1997, when Liu Han and Sun Xiaodong set up the Hanlong Group in Mianyang, the two cooperated with Liu Wei in recruiting a gang of thugs, and the group gradually developed in to a relatively stable criminal organization. The organization had ten steady members and another 20 followers. Liu Han, Liu Wei and Sun were the organizers and leaders of the group.
The group boasted a clear division of labor with Liu Han responsible for commanding the group and decision making, Sun implementing Liu's instructions and managing Hanlong's daily operations, and Liu Wei leading the hatchet men or "bodyguards". The group made tremendous financial gains through organized crime and became an economic force to be reckoned with.
They planned and committed murders and assaults; locked up their enemies; took part in extortion, illegal trade and possession of guns; and tyrannized local people, the statement said. Earlier reports quoted Liu Han as saying that he was "unaware (of the crimes)", "irrelevant (to the activities)" and "not organizing or leading criminal organizations".