Mafia kingpin Liu Yong was sentenced to death and executed yesterday, despite doubts over his confession, in a ruling that marked the first time the Supreme Court has circumvented China's two-trial criminal law system.
Immediately after the sentencing, Liu was sent to a crematorium where he was administered a lethal injection in a mobile execution van, officials said.
"Liu Yong was executed in an execution van through lethal injection," said an official surnamed Zhang at the crematorium at Jinzhou city, Liaoning province.
It took about 40 minutes from the time Liu arrived at the crematorium to the time he was pronounced dead, she said.
The State Supreme Court said in a statement after its verdict that Liu had been sentenced "for the crime of willfully causing harm."
"He should also be punished for a series of other crimes, and it was decided that the death sentence should be implemented," the decision, carried by Xinhua news agency, said.
Liu was originally sentenced to death in April last year, but during his appeal it was revealed that his confession had been extracted through torture and in August this year he was given a two-year reprieve by the Liaoning high court.
A reprieve on a death sentence often results in life imprisonment.
Liu's retrial, which began on Thursday, marks the first time in the history of the People's Republic of China that the Supreme Court has bypassed the two-trial criminal law system and issued a different ruling.
Evidence collected from forced confessions are inadmissible under Chinese law, but Monday's ruling suggested that the court felt there was enough additional evidence to warrant Liu's death in accordance with the first ruling.
Court transcripts obtained by the state-run China Central Television had no mention of torture or forced confession.
Liu was initially convicted on 32 charges including racketeering, extortion, premeditated assault and illegal possession of firearms in a case linked to a series of trials that effectively brought down the government of Shenyang city, the capital of Liaoning, in 2000.
He was accused of amassing 600 million yuan (US$72.5 million) in illegally gained assets.
Using the Jiayang Group as a business cover for his activities, Liu allegedly bought off over 500 government, judicial and police officials to run huge rackets in Shenyang real estate and tobacco markets.
In related cases, former Shen-yang mayor Mu Suixin was sentenced to death and given a two-year reprieve in 2001, and former vice mayor Ma Xiangdong was sentenced to death and executed in December 2000.
Scores of other officials and mafia figures were given capital punishment or sentenced to death with reprieves in related trials.
Liu was formerly a delegate to the Shenyang People's Congress.
The retrial came after massive public opinion decried the high court's reprieve and as the central government expressed eagerness to crack down harder on corruption.
At the time the August ruling was deemed just and fair when read out at Liu's earlier appeal, with judges citing a confession by police that Liu was brutally tortured while in custody.
"There are two main reasons for the verdict change, one is the evidence was not obtained carefully, and the other is that the evidence was flawed," Liu Liming, a judge at the Liaoning high court, told the Beijing Youth Daily in August.
POLAND-GERMANY RIFT: Warsaw’s response to Berlin over a NATO system that would increase the alliance’s involvement in the war came as Kyiv accused Russia of war crimes Anti-missile systems that Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, the Polish government said on Thursday, a proposal that is likely a nonstarter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine. Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrages of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht said that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. “It is important to us that Poland can rely on allies
MONEY-MAKING SCHEME: Some students said they were misled about study or work opportunities, or were not told that they were coming to a self-proclaimed republic Foreign students are big business in northern Cyprus, a tiny, breakaway statelet only recognized by Turkey, but some warn that university recruiters are selling “dreams” in the internationally and economically isolated territory. One Nigerian student, who asked to remain anonymous, said he expected to arrive in the country whose soccer teams compete in European tournaments. Instead, when he saw the currency was the embattled Turkish lira, he realized this was “not the Cyprus I thought it was.” The Mediterranean island is divided between the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and a northern statelet established after Turkey launched a 1974 invasion in
AWAITING EXTRADITION: Daniel Duggan has been classified as ‘extreme high risk,’ has not been allowed to use stationery and has been denied treatment, his lawyer said The lawyer for a former US military pilot arrested in Australia and facing possible extradition to the US said that his client was wrongly classified as an “extreme high-risk” prisoner, and he had asked the attorney-general to release him. Former US Marines pilot Daniel Edmund Duggan was arrested in New South Wales in October at the request of the US government, the same week the UK announced a crackdown on its former military pilots working to train Chinese military fliers. The US must lodge an extradition request for Duggan by Dec. 20 under a bilateral treaty, a Sydney court was told yesterday.
WARTIME DIPLOMACY: Zelenskiy met EU leaders and hosted the International Summit on Food Security, which included discussions on agricultural exports from Ukraine Fleeing shelling, civilians on Saturday streamed out of the southern Ukrainian city whose recapture they had celebrated just weeks earlier. The exodus from Kherson came as Ukraine solemnly remembered a Stalin-era famine and sought to ensure that Russia’s war in Ukraine does not deprive others worldwide of its vital food exports. A line of trucks, vans and cars, some towing trailers or ferrying out pets and other belongings, stretched 1km or more on the outskirts of the city of Kherson. Days of intensive shelling by Russian forces prompted a bittersweet exodus: Many civilians were happy that their city had been won back, but