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    Death sentence for online gamer
Cao Li
2005-06-08 06:24

SHANGHAI: A Shanghai online gamer who murdered another player because of a dispute over a "cyber-weapon" was given the death sentence with a two-year reprieve yesterday at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court.

Qiu Chengwei's death penalty will be commuted to life in prison if he behaves well in jail, and no other crimes relating to him are uncovered.

His sentence could be reduced to a prison term of 15 years.

Zhu He, Qiu's lawyer, said the defendant should be happy with the verdict, indicating he would not appeal against the ruling.

But the family of the murdered man, Zhu Caoyuan, said they will appeal.

"My son was only 26 when he died," said Zhu Huimin, the dead man's father.

"He was sleeping when Qiu broke into his home. He was barely able to put on his pants before Qiu stabbed him."

He added, "We want Qiu to die, and immediately."

The parents said that they would go to the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Procuratorate, which filed the prosecution, and propose a retrial.

If the procuratorate accepts their request and files for a retrial, an appeal could be heard at Shanghai High People's Court in 15 days' time.

At the same time, Zhu Huimin also filed a lawsuit against Qiu, demanding more than 700,000 yuan (US$84,000) in compensation.

Qiu Chengwei, 41, jointly won a "cyber-weapon," called Dragon Sabre, with another player, Li Yongwei, last February in a popular online game, Legend of Mir III.

The weapon was used to kill characters in the game.

Qiu loaned it to Zhu who then sold it for 7,200 yuan (US$871).

Qiu found out and went to the police, but was told the weapon did not count as real property that could be protected by law.

After failing to get the weapon back or any money in compensation, Qiu went to Zhu's home at Qipu Road one day last October.

When he failed to get satisfaction, he stabbed Zhu in the chest, hitting the latter's heart and left lung, causing him to die immediately. Qiu then left and turned himself in to the police two hours later.

(China Daily 06/08/2005 page3)


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