Quake orphan's foster father tried for theft

Updated: 2012-02-09 14:18


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A 43-year-old Chinese man who once adopted a quake orphan stood trial in Beijing for stealing jade articles due to "poverty", the Beijing Times reported Thursday.

Liu Guizhou was accused of stealing 28 jade articles from an antique store at Beijing's Panjiayuan Flea Market and nearby Beijing Antique City last year.

After Liu was arrested last July, only six of the 28 stolen articles were recovered by police, and they were appraised at 2.31 million yuan ($367,000). The worth of the remaining 22 articles was not known.

Liu, from North China's Hebei province, adopted an orphaned girl after the magnitude-8 Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.

However, the girl's health was not good, and "they spent a lot of money on her medical care," according to Liu's wife. She told the Beijing Times that her husband rejected suggestions to send the girl to another family because he was unwilling to part with his adopted daughter.

Liu Guizhou told the court that in addition to the girl's large medical expenses, he also had to pay tuition fees for his own son, who was studying at the renowned Peking University. He claimed that it was under this double burden that he was forced to steal to support his family.

The prosecutor suggested that the court take Liu's "doing good deeds" into consideration when it hands down his sentence, the newspaper reported.