Chinese lawmaker seeks 130m yuan compensation from police for ‘illegal’ detention

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 1:54pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 11:56pm

A lawmaker in northwest China is claiming 130 million yuan (HK$150 million) from a local police department as compensation for being “illegally” detained for 13 days, according to mainland media reports.

Hu Xufeng, 36, a member of the People’s Congress of Shangnan county, Shaanxi province, claimed the unusually high level of compensation because his detention caused “destructive damage” to his business, he told news portal Thepaper.cn.

“There was a financial dispute between me and Xue Yanhe, a policeman with Yanan’s National Security Brigade,” he said of his detention in 2013. “The city’s police department treated it as a criminal case and locked me up for 13 days.”

Hu is chairman of the Shaanxi Honoring Industrial Group, which operates in many areas including construction, media, hotels and electronics.

He was arrested for suspected fraud by police in Yanan, a neighbouring city, where Xue was a policeman, after he failed to repay a 4 million yuan debt to Xue on time in 2012, Hu said.

He could not pay the debt because he had been very ill and was short of cash, he said. Hu was arrested in Shangnan in August 2013. The detention was changed to residential surveillance in a hotel in Yanan two days after Hu was arrested. He had to sell group properties at a low price to pay the urgent debt, and was released on bail two days after he repaid Xue.

Hu’s position as a congress member guaranteed legal immunity until the local legislature approved his detention.

[The case] ruined my reputation, my business partners are gone and it caused me huge loss
Hu Xufeng

The People’s Congress of Shangqiu County filed a letter in November 2013 to protest what they described as the “illegal detention” of Hu.

The letter said the congress would protect Hu’s legal rights if the unlawful practice was not corrected in time, and the Yanan police terminated Hu’s bail status two days later.

The official police notice said the bail was lifted because “Hu was found to be a member of the Shangnan People’s Congress after the bail started”. However, Hu claimed he repeatedly emphasised his membership in the local legislature.

Xue was investigated by the Yanan police department regarding the case in 2013 and was fired in December. The case against Hu was dismissed in December 2015.

Hu said he suffered greatly because of the detention and filed the claim for 130 million yuan compensation .

“[The case] ruined my reputation, my business partners are gone and it caused me huge loss,” he said. “I want them to know how seriously this case affected me.”