Friday, 23 May 2014

Encircling the Tiger

When tycoon Liu Han is handed the death sentence he claims he was framed
The circle around former security czar Zhou Yongkang is tightening after a mainland mining tycoon with links to him was sentenced to death today for leading a mafia-style gang.

At the brief hearing in Xianning, Hubei province, Liu Han, 48, erupted into anger, yelling, "I've been framed" and "I've been wronged" to the court before being taken away.

Liu was found guilty of 13 charges, including murder, running casinos, and illegally selling firearms. His younger brother Liu Wei, also known as Liu Yong, was also given the death sentence.

Zhou Yongkang has not been seen for many months
Zhou allegedly used to ask Liu Han to look after his son, Zhou Bin, who had at least two business dealings with Liu.

Seems Liu and his brother did really well in amassing his wealth, as the court ordered the two brothers' personal assets to be confiscated. Liu's company, Hanlong, was a conglomerate that had interests in sectors ranging from energy to real estate.

The company was fined 300 million yuan in 1997 for financial crimes, including using fake information to obtain bank loans.

Liu Han denied the charges against him during the 17-day trial. His brother claimed police tortured him to extract a confession.

"The police beat me every day when I was detained in Beijing," Liu Wei was quoted as saying. "They said if I don't make the confessions, then they will arrest my wife and child."

Liu Han said he would forgive his brother for anything wrong he had done. "We will still be brothers for the next life," he said.

Liu Han in happier days in control of a conglomerate
Doesn't that sound like the perfect line for a movie about these brothers? Who wouldn't want to know how they amassed their riches and allegedly mixed with a powerful official and then was screwed in the end?

Meanwhile some following the case believe that because Liu received so much attention, it will be difficult for Zhou to have a fair trial. Did Liu even have a fair hearing?

The verdict shows Chinese President Xi Jinping is making sure anyone related to Zhou will be punished one way or another. Is it a legitimate anti-corruption campaign or a political axe to grind?

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