In this photo taken on Oct 29, 2010, Chen Guangqian holds a portrait of his daughter Chen Xiaofeng at a hotel room in Baoding in North China’s Hebei province. The young woman was killed by a speeding car driven by Li Qiming, who will go to trial on Wednesday. [CARA ANNA / FOR CHINA DAILY]
BEIJING - A man suspected of attempting to avoid charges stemming from a deadly traffic accident by invoking the name of his well-connected father will go to trial on Wednesday, the China Youth Daily reported on Monday.
Li Qiming, also known as Li Yifan, will face charges of "perpetration of a traffic accident" in Wangdu county of North China's Hebei province, according to the newspaper. The China Youth Daily obtained the information from Chen Lin, the brother of a victim in the crash.
The trial will begin at 9 am on Wednesday at the county's people's court, both Chen Lin and the county's publicity department confirmed.
Previously, legal experts had debated whether Li should go to trial on a charge of "perpetration of a traffic crime", or on a charge of "a dangerous offense against public safety". The latter crime, if proved, carries harsher penalties, including the death sentence, while the lesser charge often results in prison sentences lasting from three to seven years.
On Oct 16, 2010, Li Qiming was speeding in a car on Hebei University's campus, in the province's Baoding city, and ran over Chen Xiaofeng and Zhang Jingjing. Both victims were then students of the university. Chen Xiaofeng later died from wounds she suffered in the crash, while Zhang was lightly injured.
The case set off a massive outcry both online and offline, especially after reports circulated that Li Qiming had tried to threaten security personnel on campus by shouting "My father is Li Gang!" - in reference to a local deputy police chief.
On Oct 24, 2010, Li Qiming was arrested on the charge of perpetration of a traffic accident.
The following month, Li Gang reached a restitution deal with Chen Guangqian, Chen Xiaofeng's father, agreeing to pay the Chen family 460,000 yuan ($67,700).
The family, meanwhile, has signed a letter of forgiveness with Li Gang and will only be allowed to sit in the audience in the approaching trial, said Hu Yihua, a lawyer representing the Chen family.
(China Daily 01/25/2011 page4)