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3 given death penalty for Kunming terror attack

Updated: 2014-09-13 07:41
By Cao Yin (China Daily)

A court sentenced three people to death and one to life in prison on Friday for their involvement in a terrorist attack at Kunming Railway Station in Yunnan province this year in which 31 people were killed.

Iskandar Ehet, Turgun Tohtunyaz and Hasayn Muhammad were sentenced to death for murder and leading and organizing a terror group, according to the verdict issued by Kunming Intermediate People's Court.

The fourth defendant, Patigul Tohti, was sentenced to life imprisonment for homicide and joining the group. She was found to be pregnant during her detention.

The court said that since December, eight people, including the four defendants, had formed a terror group and made many preparations for an attack, including physical fitness training.

The group selected Iskandar Ehet as its leader, according to a statement provided by the court. He played audio and video recordings many times to the group on how to make explosives and how to kill people, and "infected" them with religious extremism, the court statement said.

Turgun Tohtunyaz provided funding for the group, while Hasayn Muhammad was responsible for finding more recruits, the statement said.

Between Feb 24 and 26, the group held many discussions at a barbershop in the Shadian district of Gejiu, a city in Yunnan province, and decided to launch a terrorist attack with knives in crowded places like railway stations, according to the statement.

Turgun Tohtunyaz later bought more than 10 knives of various lengths, and other members made flags and jihadist signs, the court said.

On Feb 27, Iskandar Ehet, Turgun Tohtunyaz and Hasayn Muhammad were detained for illegal exit.

The other five members decided to go ahead with the original plan, the court said.

The five, armed with knives, left Shandian in a rented car at 5:30 pm on March 1 and arrived at Kunming Railway Station at 8:30 pm, according to the court. The attack took place about an hour later. Four of them were killed at the scene and Patigul Tohti was detained.

During Friday's trial, which lasted from 9 am to 5 pm, the court ruled that the four defendants should be given the death penalty because their crimes were extremely serious and cruel. But Patigul Tohti, who is pregnant, could not be sentenced to death according to the law, the court added.

 3 given death penalty for Kunming terror attack

Four defendants appear in court on Friday charged with a terrorist attack at Kunming Railway Station in Yunnan province in March that killed 31 people. Provided to China Daily


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