Beijing court gives man life for murder in Canada

AP News
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Posted: Sep 27, 2012 3:52 AM
Beijing court gives man life for murder in Canada

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese court Thursday sentenced a man to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend 10 years ago in Canada. The case had raised diplomatic and legal issues because Beijing insisted on holding the trial even though the crime happened in another country.

The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court ruled that Li Ang committed "intentional homicide" in the death of Amanda Zhao, Li's lawyer Zou Jiaming said.

Li and Zhao were in a relationship and living together in Vancouver, where both were students.

The life sentence ends a long process started in 2002 when Zhao's body was found stuffed in a suitcase.

Li was a suspect but fled to China days after Zhao's body was found, setting off diplomatic questions because China by law does not extradite its citizens and says it can put them on trial itself regardless of where a crime occurred.

Last year, a Shanghai court sentencted a man to 15 years in jail for murdering a taxi driver in New Zealand.

Police in Canada tried to have Li, who changed his name to Li Jiaming, extradited to Canada but when China refused they agreed to provide evidence.

For the trial in Shanghai and the Zhao murder case it is thought that authorities in New Zeland and Canada — countries opposed to capital punishment — agreed to provide evidence in return for promises there would be no death penalty — which is more often used in China than anywhere else.

A Canadian diplomat was in the court Thursday, but would not comment.