China urges early repatriation of Lai Changxing

Updated: 2007-02-13 18:39

BEIJING -- There's no change in China's stances on the repatriation of most wanted fugitive Lai Changxing, and an early repatriation is in the interests of both China and Canada, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

Jiang made the remarks at a regular press conference here Tuesday afternoon.

Lai was accused of being the mastermind behind the country's largest smuggling ring. He fled to Canada in 1999 and remains there where he is confined to his home.

Beijing wants to bring him back to face charges of smuggling, bribery and tax evasion. However, Canadian officials have been unwilling to allow Lai's extradition because he could be sentenced to death. Recently, Canada's federal court held a hearing on the risks evaluation of Lai's repatriation.

Gan Yisheng, vice secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said at a press conference Tuesday the allegation that Lai will be sentenced to death and subjected to abuse after repatriation is groundless.

Gan said according to China's Criminal Law, there are two types of death sentence -- death sentence with immediate execution and death sentence with reprieve.

China has promised not to sentence Lai Changxing to death. It means he won't be given death penalty with immediate execution nor death penalty with reprieve, said Gan.

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