Rule of law still a distant reality

Liu Xia, wife of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, weeps in anguish after her brother Liu Hui was jailed. Photo: AP

Business fraud on the mainland is nothing unusual. As long as the accused is given a fair trial and sentenced according to the severity of the offence, it need not be a cause for concern. But what sets the case of Liu Hui apart is that he is the brother-in-law of Nobel Peace Prize winner-cum-dissident Liu Xiaobo. Liu Hui was sentenced to 11 years in prison for pocketing three million yuan in a property transaction.

Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 2:25am

Jury selection starts in George Zimmerman's Florida trial for killing Trayvon Martin

Unarmed Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman.

The murder trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of shooting unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, failed to choose a single juror on its first day of jury selection.

Lawyers reviewed questionnaire's filled out by prospective jurors and did preliminary interviews, but it quickly became clear that finding a panel of six jurors plus four alternates could take a long time.

11 Jun 2013 - 10:59pm

Accused killer of British soldier tells London court he's also soldier

Victim Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Photo: Reuters

One of the men charged with the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in London last month made a rambling appearance at the Old Bailey central criminal court in London, declaring he was also "a soldier" and complaining about being repeatedly strip-searched.

7 Jun 2013 - 1:50am

Presumed guilty in China

Presumed guilty in China

The case of Zhu Ling has hit the headlines again recently. Zhu was a promising chemistry student at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University before she was left paralysed after being poisoned with thallium, a toxic chemical, nearly two decades ago. The renewed interest in her tragic case was ignited by a similar poisoning case in April that led to the death of a Fudan University student.

3 Jun 2013 - 2:33am 2 comments

China supreme court orders tougher sentencing for child abuse

A nurse takes care of seven-year-old Lin Qiurong who was a child-abuse victim at a hospital in Guangzhou. Lin will need five to seven skin graft operations after her father poured boiling water on her. Photo: Imaginechina

Mainland courts have been ordered to mete out harsher sentences to child abusers, with the Supreme People's Court publicising three cases yesterday as precedents.

30 May 2013 - 7:38am

China's leaders draw up formal party rules to control members

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Xinhua

Making sure the Communist Party's 80 million members are strictly controlled is imperative for the party's new leadership, amid a looming legitimacy crisis. Analysts say Monday's release of procedural requirements for the formulation of party rules has signalled party chief Xi Jinping's intention to introduce the rule of law into the management of its members.

30 May 2013 - 8:33am

Police short-changing the courts with frivolous cases

Tam Hoi-chi, leaves Eastern Court in Sai Wan Ho after the prosecution of overchargng his passenger by 50 cents offered no evidence. Photo: David Wong

Hong Kong police have a tough job to do - like having to decide whether to prosecute a taxi driver for not giving back 50 cents to a passenger and a Filipino maid who overcharged her boss HK$15 for a piece of pork.

Boy, what scandalous offences! The full weight of law enforcement must be brought down on these hardcore criminals to make an example of them and preserve law and order.

30 May 2013 - 2:56am 7 comments

Petitioner alleges police torture

A 55-year-old father of two, Chen Fengqiang, has claimed he and his mentally disabled, eight-year-old foster son were tortured under interrogation in a Zhuhai police station after being dragged away while petitioning in Guangzhou on Tuesday.

Chen, 55, and his foster son were released on Wednesday night following about 24 hours' interrogation at the Jinhaitan police station, he said.

24 May 2013 - 4:56am

Pair get 1.1m yuan each after decade in jail for murder they didn't commit

Zhang Gaoping, a 48-year-old man acquitted after 10 years in jail, shows his photo taken at the age of 37 at his former residence in Qichuan Village. Photo: Xinhua

The high court in Zhejiang province has ruled that two men wrongfully convicted of murder should each receive about 1.1 million yuan (HK$1.25 million) in compensation after serving 10 years in jail.

21 May 2013 - 4:05am

Rape victim's petitioning mother Tang Hui wins court review

Tang Hui

Hunan's high court agreed to hear an appeal by Tang Hui, the mother of a teenage girl who was raped and forced into prostitution by local officials.

A lower court had dismissed her compensation claim last month against local authorities who sent her to a labour camp for protesting inappropriately.

21 May 2013 - 4:05am

Petition mother Tang Hui clears hurdle in court appeal over labour camp imprisonment

Tang Hui in Changsha, Hunan province last month. Photo: AFP

The Provincial Higher People’s Court said on Sunday that it would review plaintiff Tang Hui’s lawsuit against Yongzhou authorities after she was sent to a labour camp for 18 months.

20 May 2013 - 3:57pm

Assault trial of Freemason in 2012 'unusual'

Zetland Hall, home to more than 1,000 Freemasons in the city, including senior government officials and judges. Photo: Edward Wong

The conduct of Freemasons in Hong Kong has come under renewed scrutiny after senior legal figures questioned the handling of alleged indecent assaults by a member at their Zetland Hall headquarters in Mid-Levels.

12 May 2013 - 2:15pm

Police under fire as petitioners call on Washington for help

We The People, US government's public website

In recent days, tens of thousands of mainlanders have signed a petition to the US government's public website, We The People, calling on the Obama administration to intervene in the two-decade-old poisoning case and help bring the suspect, believed to be living in the US, to justice.

12 May 2013 - 4:00am 1 comment

Recruiting overseas judges the right thing to do for now

Chief Justice Andrew Li was diplomatic when he lauded rule of law in Hong Kong. Photo: Sam Tsang

Our judiciary remains fiercely independent," Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said at a luncheon address in London last week. "We uphold the rule of law and Hong Kong people enjoy a wide range of rights and freedoms."

8 May 2013 - 3:19am 7 comments

China must stop extracting confessions through use of torture

China must stop extracting confessions through use of torture

The provincial court of Zhejiang recently reversed its 2004 verdict of a suspended death sentence for Zhang Hui and a 15-year prison term for his uncle Zhang Gaoping on charges of rape and murder. The two were cleared due to the inadequacy of the previous evidence and admission of new evidence. They had spent 10 years behind bars.

6 May 2013 - 2:55am 2 comments