Lawyer pressured to drop hit-and-run case
The lawyer representing the victim in the now infamous 'My father is Li Gang ' traffic fatality was asked by his employer to drop the case, as pressure continues to mount on the victim's family.
Chen Lin, the victim's brother, said his family had been approached by police officers who refused to show their identities on Monday, demanding a second autopsy of his younger sister, Chen Xiaofeng .
She was allegedly run over and killed by Li Qiming, a district police deputy chief's son who was drink-driving, on the Hebei University campus in Baoding, on the night of October 16.
Li sparked outrage across the mainland when he brushed off witnesses' accusations by saying, 'My father is Li Gang'.
After Chen rejected the policemen's demand, the officers said the only option left was for the family to accept compensation. However, they did not say whether accepting compensation would bring a halt to the criminal investigation of the case, which has caused a national outcry.
Nor did they specify whether the compensation would be paid by Li Gang's family.
Chen said he rejected both suggestions by the policemen as he suspected they were working for Li Gang and doubted their motives.
'I am worried an injustice might occur if I accept the offers,' he said.
One of the family's lawyers, Zhang Kai, said an autopsy would not be appropriate unless it was to determine the speed of the car.
An autopsy might even affect the result of a possible future investigation into the car's speed, he said.
Also on Monday, Zhang was asked by his employer, the Beijing Yijia Law Firm, not to represent the Chen family. The firm was under pressure from authorities to stop Zhang's involvement in the case, but he wanted to continue.
Negotiations were taking place, but Zhang said: 'If it doesn't work out, I would have to stop handling the case.'
Zhang has been looking for witnesses to the accident since October 26 because the legal document he received said the car's speed could not be confirmed without video clips or corroboration. But so far he has not received any volunteers to testify about the accident, in which a second girl was also struck.
'The case should be filed and investigated as 'offences endangering public safety' instead of as a regular traffic crime, so the speed is the key,' Zhang said. The second autopsy had been planned for 3.30pm yesterday if Chen had not turned it down.
A mainland investigative journalist who was following the case, despite a media ban, said he suspected the motive behind the proposed second autopsy. He claimed the policemen were from the No 2 traffic team of the district where Li Gang is deputy district chief.
Under public concern that Li Gang may use his clout to intervene in his son's case, the authorities have agreed to move the case to Wangdu county. But many doubt that this would be effective, since the county is part of Baoding, where Li Gang is deputy police chief in one of the city's districts.
Angry internet users have made 'My father is Li Gang' a popular catchphrase, used in poems and videos. Details of properties owned by Li Gang and his son have been exposed online by outraged internet users.