China

Policeman's son in court for fatal traffic accident on campus

English.news.cn   2011-01-26 10:45:40 FeedbackPrintRSS

WANGDU, Hebei, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- A man who invoked his policeman father's name at a crowd of witnesses after killing a young woman with his car on a north China university campus has admitted in court to causing the woman's death.

Li Qiming, 23, appeared at Wangdu County People's Court at 9 a.m. Wednesday charged in connection with a fatal road accident on the evening of Oct. 16 last year in Hebei University, Baoding City, Hebei Province.

The Wangdu County People's Procuratorate charged Li with causing death through various traffic offenses.

Li was drink-driving when he hit two women students, who were roller-skating. Li continued driving to drop off his friend at the university until being stopped by the university guards and angry students, said the prosecutors.

One of the women, Chen Xiaofeng, 20, died later in hospital while the other, Zhang Jingjing, 20, suffered a fractured leg. Zhang has been discharged from hospital.

After the accident, Li reportedly shouted, "Go ahead, sue me. My father is Li Gang!"

Li Gang was the deputy chief of the Beishi district police bureau of Baoding City when the accident happened.

The incident drew nationwide criticism and put the father and son in the spotlight.

Deputy chief of the procuratorate Xu Yongsheng said the driver should be sentenced to three to seven years in prison.

Defense lawyer Zhang Jinlong said Li Qiming had been apologetic and had compensated the victims' families.

Zhang said at court, "I would hope for a sentence of three years in jail with a reprieve."

Li Qiming's family has reached a compensation agreement with the victims' families. Li has paid 460,000 yuan (69,880 U.S. dollars) to Chen's family and 92,000 yuan to Zhang's family.

Chen's brother Chen Lin attended the court hearing together with a group of Hebei University students.

"My family and myself want justice. The prosecution itself demonstrates that," said Chen Lin.

The court hearing ended at 10:40 a.m. and the sentence will be handed down at a later date.

The expression "My father is Li Gang" became a bitter joke in China, with various versions of the sentence being used in a joking manner.

There is even an English-language Wikipedia entry on the "Li Gang incident."

Li Qiming is known in China as a "guan'erdai," or offspring of an official, a term that many Chinese associate with arrogant, bullying behavior and sense of privilege.

Police records show Li did mention whom his father is, but only after he was taken to the guardhouse at the university.

In a China Central Television broadcast interview on Oct. 22, 2010, Li Gang said, "I am really sorry for what my son has done. He caused a lot of pain for the victims' families. I will not play favorites for my son's benefit at the court hearings."

During the interview Li choked with emotion and bowed to ask for forgiveness.

The TV footage also showed a teary Li Qiming, who said he was "very sorry."

Li Gang did not attend Wednesday's court hearing.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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