Lawyer unable to contact family of girl killed by police official's son

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, November 11, 2010
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A Beijing-based lawyer hired by the family of a college student killed in a drunken hit-and-run case by the son of a local police official in Hebei said Wednesday that his clients have been out of reach since they terminated his services last Friday.

Li Gang(L) and Li Qiming.[File photo]

Li Gang(L) and Li Qiming.[File photo]

Zhang Kai, an attorney at the Beijing Yijia Law Firm, was initially asked to take the highly publicized case, in which 21-year-old Li Qiming drove into and killed Chen Xiaofeng on her school campus at Hebei University last month.

The incident sparked widespread public outrage when it emerged Li challenged bystanders to sue him by shouting "My father is Li Gang," referring to the deputy director of Baoding Public Security Bureau.

"The family of the victim must have come under enormous pressure or reached an agreement with Li's family over compensation for them to drop the case," Zhang said.

He said that Chen's father called him last Friday and said that his case had been "settled" but refused to give details. Half an hour later, his law firm received an official document terminating his legal services.

Even though this is a criminal case, Zhang said that his representation could help Chen's family negotiate a higher compensation, and more importantly oversee the litigation to ensure it was carried out fairly.

The victim's family had been worried that Li's father would use his connections to ensure a lighter punishment for his son, they said earlier.

Zhang said that Li should be charged with intentionally endangering public security by other dangerous means based on his offense, which could result in the death penalty. A traffic accident violation, which Zhang acknowledges is now more likely, would only incur a maximum of seven years in prison.

Zhang argued that one of the factors that would determine Li's charge is the speed that the car was traveling at when the incident occurred. Local authorities concluded it was 45-59 kilometers per hour, but he said the speed was higher.

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