East China higher court rejects request for new hearing, upholding lower court's ruling

Updated 2018-02-08 13:45:02 Xinhua

The Intermediate People's Court of east China's Xuzhou City upheld a ruling made by a lower court which convicted 22 people of gang crime and sentenced them to jail with varying terms or detention.

At an open trial held Tuesday, the Intermediate People's Court of Xuzhou City, east China's Jiangsu Province, said they believe the verdict given by Suining Couty People's Court, the lower court, in December is appropriate and should be allowed to stay.

The higher court said Tuesday's ruling is final.

The court heard that the mafia-style gang, led by Tao Lei and Tao Shuai, were involved in acts including illegal dismantling civilian houses with violence, illegal property development and mining.

The illegal dismantling adversely affected over 200 villagers in Zhangji Village in Tongshan District, Xuzhou City of Jiangsu. The mining led to the deterioration of the local environment.

The gang also built over 40,000 square meters of shops and residential houses illegally, worth over 40 million yuan (about 6.4 million U.S. dollars), and they exploited more than 180,000 tonnes of ores, worth over 5.1 million yuan.

The gang was proven guilty of all above acts.

In a first-instance trial held in Decemeber, Suining Couty People's Court ruled that Tao Lei and Tao Shuai were given 20 years and 18 years in jail terms, respectively, while 20 others of the gang were sentenced to jail terms up to 11 years or detention. They were also given fines.

Tao Lei and others of the gang appealed their case after the first-instance trial.

The Chinese government in January ordered a new campaign against organized crime.

The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the ministries of Public Security and Justice issued a joint circular Monday, saying that mafia-style gangsters and those who shelter gang members will get a lesser punishment if they turn themselves in before March 1.

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