Chinese mining tycoon Liu Han sentenced to death for eight murders

The former head of mining conglomerate was sentenced to death along with his brother and three other men

One of China’s richest men has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of "organising and leading mafia-style crime and murder” across the country.

Liu Han who heads the mining conglomerate Sichuan Hanlong Group was said to have been the man behind a network of gangs that had made “financial gains via illegal activities".

The 48-year-old screamed “I’ve been framed” after he was sentenced to death along with his brother, Liu Wei, and three other associates.

Another 31 people who were believed to be part of Liu Han’s extensive criminal network were handed punishments that ranged from suspended jail sentences to time in prison.

The courts said that over twenty years the two brothers had been the masterminds behind the deaths of nearly eight people and were involved in a number of other crimes and instances of corruption.

Following the decision the court posted on social media that: "Liu Han and Liu Wei had extremely malicious intentions, their acts were exceptionally atrocious, their social influences were extremely vile and their crimes and the consequences were extremely serious.

"They should be severely punished according to the law."

According to state media, Han’s sentencing is the culmination of an investigation that began in March 2003.

In July last year, Liu Han was formally arrested when guns and grenades owned by the Liu brothers were found in 10 provinces and cities across China.

Liu Han’s sentence also marks another step in the government’s wider crackdown on corruption linked to former Security Chief Zhou Yongkang.

Liu Han was from the Sichuan Province the place where Zhou used to be the Communist Party’s Secretary and was believed to be under Zhou’s sphere of influence.

So far two other of Zhou’s close associates have been arrested with six others currently under investigation.

Most notably, last year saw one of Zhou’s biggest political allies Bo Xilai jailed for life when it was found he had been involved in bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power while he served in the country’s Central Politburo – the Chinese central office of political power.

In December last year, Zhou’s son, Zhou Bin was formally arrested by authorities and placed in quasi-detention on the outskirts of Beijing.

There have been countless rumours that Zhou, who was China’s Public Security Minister in 2003 before stepping down in 2012, was being investigated for corruption by authorities, although none of these rumours have been officially confirmed.

If he was brought to trial and charged, he would be the highest-ranking political figure to be arrested on charges of corruption in China.

Beijing has presented Liu Han’s conviction as an example of their new commitment to ridding the country’s political and economic spheres from corruption.

However, critics believe the sentencing was harsh and merely a political move to further damage Zhou Yongkang.

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: IT Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Are you someone that "makes th...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Restaurant Manager / Sommelier

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

Recruitment Genius: Apprentice Receptionist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join this w...

Recruitment Genius: Hotel Receptionists - Seasonal Placement

£12500 - £13520 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Hotel Receptionists...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn