China's court cases of 2013

Li Tianyi

A court in Beijing on Nov 17 upheld the earlier verdict of Li Tianyi, the teenage son of a famous Chinese military singer, giving him a 10 years imprisonment and concluding the case in the national spotlight.

Beijing Haidian District People's Court gave the first-instance verdict for the five defendants in the gang rape case, and the other four received sentences from three years with probation to 12 years in prison, on Sep 26. The No 1 Intermediate People's Court of Beijing upheld the verdict in the second trial.

Li Tianyi, 17, gang raped a woman surnamed Yang, 23 in a hotel with four others after getting drunk in a bar on Feb 20, according to Beijing Haidian District People's Court.

Zhou Xijun

Jilin Superim People's Court rejected the appeal of Zhou Xijun, who killed a baby after stealing a SUV in Northeast China in March, and sentenced him to death, on July 24, 2013.

Zhou, 48, received the death sentence from his first trial at the Intermediate People's Court in Changchun, capital of Jilin province, on May 27, 2013.

The verdict deprived his political rights for life for the murder and five years in jail. It also made him to pay a 50,000 yuan (S$10,400) fine for stealing the car that contained the baby and around 17,000 yuan in compensation to the victim's family.

The death sentence was executed on Nov 22, 2013.

Lin Senhao

Prosecutors in Shanghai appealed on Nov 27 against Lin Senhao, a postgraduate from a renowned Shanghai university who allegedly murdered his roommate with lab poison on charges of intentional homicide.

Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court heard the case, whose alleged murder of Huang Yang in April prompted a national outcry and soul-searching on the moral education of Chinese youth.

Lin Senhao, the postgraduate medical student at Fudan University, confessed to the act of tainting a water dispenser with a toxic chemical that caused Huang's death, and said he would accept any punishment issued by the court.

He denied bearing a grudge against the victim and intentionally killing him, adding he intended to play an April Fool's Day trick on some other young men. Lin said he acted because of Huang's arrogance and wanted to give him a hard time.

Police said Lin used N-Nitrosodimethylamine, a deadly chemical compound he took from the university lab, to contaminate a water dispenser in their dormitory on March 31. Huang drank from the dispenser on April 1 and died of organ failure on April 16.

The verdict will be given at a later date,the court said.

Liu Zhijun

China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun was sentenced death penalty with a two-year reprieve on July 8 for bribery and abuse of power.

The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court announced the verdict of the first instance.

The court sentenced the 60-year-old Liu to death with a two-year reprieve, deprived his political rights for life and confiscated all his personal property for taking bribes.

Liu was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for abuse of power, according to the court verdict.

The combined punishment for Liu's crimes is death penalty with a two-year reprieve, deprival of political rights for life, and confiscation of all personal property, the court said.

The court found that from 1986 to 2011, Liu took advantage of his positions as official of local railway bureaus as well as the former Ministry of Railways, and helped 11 people, Shao Liping and Ding Yuxin included, win promotions, project contracts, and cargo transportation contracts. He accepted 64.6 million yuan in bribes from them during this period.

Ding Shumiao

The No 2 Beijing Intermediate People's Court heard the case of Ding Shumiao, a businesswoman linked to the corruption case against China's former railway minister on charged with bribery and illegal business activities, on Sept 24, 2013.

The No 2 Beijing People's Procuratorate filed the charges against Ding Shumiao of Shanxi province.

Ding intervened in bidding for dozens of railway projects through railway ministry staff members and was reported to be engaged in illegal business operations valued at 178.8 billion yuan, the procuratorating body said in a statement.

That amount of money was a quarter of the total railway investment nationwide in 2010 (707 billion yuan) and also close to the total financial revenue of Shanxi province in 2010 (181 billion yuan).

Ji Zhongxing

A Beijing court has sentenced Ji Zhongxing, a wheelchair-bound man who set off a home-made bomb at the Beijing International Airport in July, to six years in jail.

Ji had pleaded not guilty during his trial hearing by Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing Sept 17, arguing that he did not intentionally detonate the bomb in the airport's Terminal 3 on July 20. The 33-year-old Shandong-native was injured heavily in the blast and has since been undergoing medical treatment.

Ji was stopped by security staff when he tried to hand out leaflets outside Gate B of the airport's arrival hall on Saturday evening. Ji then warned people nearby to get away before he set off an explosive device in his bag, injuring himself and a policeman, police said.

A witness said that Ji did not throw the bomb after activating it, but held it in his hands, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Ji later appealed for a lighter sentence with the No 3 Intermediate People's Court of Beijing, who upheld the earlier verdict as just.

Ji acted out of desperation, his defence lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan said in earlier statements. In 2005, he was beaten up by security guards in Dongguan so severely that he has since been confined to a wheelchair. Dongguan authorities continue to ignore his petitions for punishment of the attackers, his lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan wrote in a microblog post on Tuesday.

Guangdong provincial authorities promised on Sunday to look into the alleged unjust treatment of a disabled man who police say set off an explosive device the day before at Beijing Capital International Airport.

The Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department said in a statement that the police must thoroughly probe online allegations that Ji Zhongxing, who set off the homemade bomb, was attacked by police in Dongguan eight years ago.

Han Lei

Beijing's High People's Court on Nov 29 upheld the death penalty for Han Lei, who was convicted in the death of a 2-year-old girl pulled from her stroller.

Han, 39, was sentenced to death for homicide at Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court on Sept 25, but he appealed to the higher court. He provided some new evidence on Nov 19, when the higher court heard his case.

Han pulled the girl from her stroller, in what he said he regarded as a handcart, after arguing with her mother over parking in the capital's Daxing district on July 23.

Two days later the girl died of serious head injuries. During the two trials, Han maintained that he did not mean to harm the child, insisting it was his carelessness that caused her death. Han's lawyer did not comment after the verdict announcement.

Tang Hui

A high court in central China's Hunan province has ruled in favour of a rape victim's mother who sued a local authority for putting her in a labour camp.

The Hunan Provincial People's High Court on Monday ordered the Yongzhou municipal re-education through labour commission to pay Tang Hui 2,941 yuan in compensation for infringing upon her personal freedom and causing mental damages.

The 40-year-old mother appealed to the high court in April after the Yongzhou Intermediate People's Court denied her request for an apology and compensation from the re-education through labour commission.

Tang was put into the labour camp after she publicly petitioned for harsher punishments for those found guilty of raping her daughter and forcing her into prostitution.

In October 2006, Tang's then 11-year-old daughter was kidnapped, raped and forced into prostitution. She was rescued on December 30, 2006.

On June 5, 2012, the Hunan Provincial Higher People's Court sentenced two of the girl's kidnappers to death. Four others were given life sentences and another one received a 15-year prison term.

Tang insisted harsher punishments for all those found guilty. She was put in a labour camp in Yongzhou for "seriously disturbing social order and exerting a negative impact on society" after protesting in front of local government buildings on August 2, 2012.

Bo Xilai

The Shandong Higher People's Court on Oct 25 rejected Bo Xilai's appeal and upheld the original sentence of life imprisonment for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

The Jinan Intermediate People's Court sentenced Bo, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and former member of the Political Bureau of the party's Central Committee, to life imprisonment on September 22.

According to the original verdict, Bo was found guilty of accepting bribes totaling more than 20.44 million yuan embezzling 5 million yuan and the circumstances of his abuse of power were described as "very serious."

He was sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes, with his political rights deprived for life and all personal assets confiscated. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for embezzlement and had personal assets of 1 million yuan confiscated. Bo was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for abuse of power.

The combined punishment for Bo's crimes was life imprisonment, with political rights deprived for life and all personal assets confiscated, the verdict said.