Chinese-American Faces Trial in China

A Chinese-American businessman, Vincent Wu, is facing criminal charges in China after a business dispute with Lin Qiang, a former provincial security official. Andrew Jacobs at New York Times reports:

That confrontation is likely to center on allegations that Mr. Wu was tortured into signing a confession, which is the crux of the case against him. In a deposition released by his lawyers, Mr. Wu says he was beaten while being hung upside down, deprived of food and water for several days and then given stimulants so he could not sleep. In the end, Mr. Wu says, he signed the declaration of guilt that was placed before him. “They pre-wrote everything,” he told his lawyers, according to the deposition. “If I didn’t sign it, they beat me.”

Mr. Wu’s case, human rights groups say, highlights the problems that even American citizens face in China’s flawed and deeply politicized criminal justice system. Although confessions extracted through torture are technically inadmissible in court, legal experts say the police frequently rely on heavy-handed tactics to win the confessions that often form the basis of convictions. “We’d be pleasantly surprised if the judge even allows the allegations of torture to be discussed in the courtroom,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia director for Amnesty International, which has been publicizing his case.

[…] During an earlier entanglement with Mr. Lin in 2002, Mr. Wu says, he was detained by the police for 11 months, but later released after prosecutors decided that there was insufficient evidence to try him. His family said a ruling in February by the Supreme People’s Court vindicated Mr. Wu’s claims and cemented his ownership of the disputed property, a successful fruit market in the city of Foshan.

Mr. Lin could not be reached for comment, and police officials in Huizhou declined to comment. Kenny Wu, one of Mr. Wu’s sons, said in a phone interview that Mr. Lin warned his father that he would prevail in the end. “ ‘I control the laws in mainland China,’ ” Kenny Wu said Mr. Lin told his father. “ ‘Watch me put you back in prison like I did 10 years ago. Even President Obama and God cannot save you.’ ”

See more on police brutality in China via CDT.


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