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Airport bomber expresses remorse

By CAO YIN | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-18 00:21

A man, who set off a homemade bomb at Beijing Capital International Airport in July told a court the explosion was an accident and expressed remorse for his actions.

Ji Zhongxing, who appeared before a judge on Tuesday lying on a trolley bed and wearing hospital pyjamas, insisted the device exploded unexpectedly as he passed it from one hand to another.

"I did not intend it ... It was negligence," the 34-year-old said, according to a Sina Weibo post from Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court.

Ji, who uses a wheelchair, was detained after his bomb — made out of fireworks — went off outside the arrival hall at Terminal 3 at 6:24 pm on July 20.

The blast fractured the defendant's left arm and left a police officer with minor injuries.

"When the officer approached me, I passed the bomb from one hand to another. I was afraid he would grab it," the defendant was quoted as saying in the post. "The explosion just happened."

He refuted the prosecution's claim that he intended to commit suicide or harm others, saying he was only trying to gain public attention.

The court has not yet reached a verdict on the case. However, according to Chinese Criminal Law, a person who causes an explosion that does not result in serious harm faces three to 10 years in prison.

During the two-hour trial, presiding judge Wu Xiaojun heard that the defendant had traveled to the capital alone with the homemade bomb from his native Heze, in Shandong province.

Ji said he went to the airport aiming to make a protest about an unresolved dispute in Dongguan, Guangdong province, where he worked 10 years ago. The dispute relates to an incident in which he alleges his back was broken after a collision with two security guards.

Ji said he handed out leaflets outside the airport arrival hall, hoping the police would be forced to notice him and investigate his case.

"I didn't intend to threaten others with the explosive," he said, according to the court's micro blog post. "I shouted that I had a bomb, as I didn't want to harm them."

He added he felt deep regret for his actions.

After the trial, Liu Xiaoyuan, Ji's lawyer, told China Daily that the Dongguan dispute was a key factor leading up to the explosion.

He said his client used to drive a motorcycle taxi in Dongguan and had a collision with two security workers on June 28, 2005, who then proceeded to beat him, causing his paralysis.

"My client appealed to a local court after he was seriously injured, but his lawsuit was withdrawn due to a lack of evidence," the attorney said.

He said Guangdong police said they would investigate Ji's claims after the blast, but so far they have not revealed any findings.

The defendant's father and elder brother, who were among 50 people in the public gallery during Tuesday's hearing, had earlier called on the public to pay attention to the 2005 dispute.

However, prosecutors did not address the matter in court, saying the case had no relation with the airport explosion, Liu said.

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