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China ends first trials of mafia-style gang

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-19 18:35

China ends first trials of mafia-style gang
Mafia-style gang stands trial in central China
XIANNING, Hubei -- The first trials of 36 members of an alleged mafia-style gang led by former mining tycoon Liu Han ended Saturday in central China's Hubei Province.

Liu Han, his brother Liu Wei and 34 other defendants were accused of crimes including organizing and leading a gang, intentional homicide and assault, illegal detention, blackmailing, illegal possession of guns and ammunition, and defrauding banks of loans, prosecutors said.

The presiding judge announced the conclusion of the first trials of Liu Han and another nine defendants after they made final statements.

Trials of the other 26 defendants ended on April 1, 2 and 14.

Trials of the ring members began on March 31.

According to the Xianning Intermediate People's Court, the 36 defendants were prosecuted in seven cases to make clear facts and protect the legal interests of the accused as they allegedly committed more than 50 crimes in 20 years.

Most of the defendants, including Liu Wei, confessed to and repented for their crimes and apologized to victims and their families, while Liu Han denied the charges, according to the court.

The verdict will be announced at a date yet to be decided.

Mafia charges

Liu Han was board chairman of the Hanlong Group, the biggest private enterprise in Sichuan. He owned tens of subsidiary companies involved in electricity, energy, finance, mining, real estate and securities.

Prosecutors said the group led by Liu Han was massive in number of members with clear organizers, leaders and backbones. The group accumulate wealth by illegal means to support its activities and possessed a lot of guns and ammunition for violent illegal confrontation.

Through illegal activities and under the coverup and connivance of officials at state organs, the ring illegally gained control over and had a huge influence on Mianyang, Guanghan and Shifang cities and various local industries, severely damaging economic and social order, prosecutors said.

But Liu Han said he was "unaware (of the cases)," "irrelevant (to the activities" and "not organizing or leading criminal organizations."

Lawyers for another nine defendants argued on whether they committed crimes of participating the gang and whether leniency mitigation should be handed down.

The lawyer for Hanlong Group pleaded guilty of the company's financial frauds.

The court fully heard opinions of both sides.

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