Death sentence upheld for Zhou Yongkang-linked tycoon Liu Han convicted of 'mafia' crimes
Zhou Yongkang-linked mining magnate loses appeal against murder, casino convictions
A Sichuan mining tycoon with links to former domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang has lost his appeal after his death sentence was upheld, the Hubei Higher People's Court announced yesterday.
Liu Han, 48, was found guilty of 13 charges - including murder, organising casinos, running a mafia-style gang and illegally selling firearms - and sentenced to death in late May.
His younger brother, Liu Wei, and three other people were also given death sentences, while 31 others were convicted of crimes ranging from murder to involvement in mafia-style gangs after their 21-day trial.
Liu Han's Hanlong Group - a conglomerate founded in 1997 with interests ranging from energy to real estate, was fined 300 million yuan (HK$377 million) for crimes including the use of fraudulent information to obtain bank loans.
Hanlong Group and 20 defendants submitted appeals to the Hubei court early in June, chinanews.com reported.
The death sentences will now be reviewed by the Supreme People's Court in Beijing, the mainland's highest court.
The decision to uphold the convictions comes one week after the Communist Party announced an official investigation into Zhou, who was believed to have close links with Liu Han.
Mainland media have reported that Liu has ties with business communities and party officials in Sichuan.
Liu Han became friends with Zhou Bin, 42, the elder son of Zhou Yongkang, in 2003, sources said. His Hanlong Group bought a tourism company from Zhou Bin for 12 million yuan, mainland media reported.
Zhou Bin has been detained since December over allegations of bribery.