Beijing airport explosion

Beijing airport bomber arrested, may face up to 10 years in jail

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 July, 2013, 1:19pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 July, 2013, 3:52pm

Ji Zhongxing, the man who detonated a home-made bomb at the Beijing airport earlier this month, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of bombing, his lawyer has said.

Prominent activist lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan confirmed earlier reports of his arrest on Monday on his microblog on Tuesday morning. He said police had reported his detention to the Chaoyang district procuratorate last Thursday, which approved his arrest.

He was arrested on suspicion of bombing, Liu Xiaoyuan told AFP, adding that the act carried a potential sentence of three to 10  years’ jail because it caused little damage.

He has been in hospital in police custody since the incident.

Last Thursday, Ji's family had tasked Liu along with Li Fangping with the criminal defence the 34-year-old native of Shandong province in court.

Liu has gained prominence in recent years as an ardent human rights advocate, who has previously defended artist Ai Weiwei and democracy activist Wang Dengchao. Li has also represented cases of rights violations in the past.

Ji had detonated the bomb at Terminal 3 of Beijing's international airport on July 20 in desperation after spending eight years petitioning over the crippling injuries he claimed to have suffered as a result of police brutality. 

The website of the People's Daily, the Communist Party's leading newspaper, published an opinion article on Tuesday arguing that should be no tolerance for petitioners like Ji.

"Even if one sympathises with their experiences, one cannot tolerate the making of explosives", the article read. "The best model is that of government and officials respecting a law-abiding public."