These days a program called “the First Scene” on the Shenzhen local TV station aired a surveillance video clip showing a man senselessly beating another man in the elevator. The suspect was reported to be Australian Chinese named Liu Zinan (刘子楠). In the end, the victim’s arm was broken and his face stitched up. The police eventually sentenced Liu 10 days in detention and a 500 yuan fine. Netizens nation wide thought the punishment was laughably too light.
It was reported that the offender Liu Zinan is ethic Chinese Australian citizen, his home town is in Hubei province, his father has very high social status.
Very high social status? Is his dad also Li Gang?
Update of the incident provided by Internet user: (comment #128, 129)
Mr. Liu’s (suspect) parents were separated when he was young. His mother took him to Australia where later he obtained Australian citizenship. In each of the past few years, he have always come back to see his father, this year he came back in early November intended to see the Asian Games opening ceremony. (Opening ceremony was on the evening of November 12th, the incident happened in the morning on November 13th)
Mr. Liu stayed in a residential building 31st floor, and the victim Mr. Wang lived on the 32nd floor. It was reported that Mr. Wang has been renovating his home in early mornings for several days. Mr. Liu was very upset because of the noise, that day after watching the Asian Games opening ceremony, upstairs was still renovating. (The time was 12:07 am) Mr. Liu decided to go downstairs to report to the police (which does not seem to be very believable, calling police on the phone would be more efficient) it just happened that he met Mr. Wang in the elevator, without exchanging any words, the beating started…
After the incident, the victim Mr. Wag was sent to Nanshan People’s Hospital, the forensic report was “light injuries” (轻微伤) at the time. (According to the law “light injuries” is only enough to hold suspect responsible for civil case, as to the more severe “minor injuries” can hold suspect criminal responsible) So Nanshan Public Security Bureau processed the case on these principles and gave the decision of 10 day detention and 500 yuan fine.
Later Mr. Wang went to the second hospital for a forensic report, this time the report was “minor injuries”. Accoding to the law, Nanshan Public Security can no longer handle cases with “minor injuries” (related to criminal case). So this cause has been transferred to the city’s criminal police department.
Netizens questioned, why not handle this case as robbery since Mr. Liu took victims’ laptop bag? The police said, after viewing the surveillance video later, Mr. Liu’s stepmother went upstairs and gave the bag back to the victim’s family 8 minutes after the incident, so the case cannot be handled as robbery.
According to the law, intentional causing minor injuries may be sentenced up to three years of imprisonment, criminal detention or house arrest.
If this case is defined as a civil case, and Mr. Wang chooses to prosecute, the judicial practice is usually to encourage reconciliation. So if Wang seeks compensation, and Liu really pays the compensation, then there is almost no possibility of jail time.
If the prosecutor decides to try this as a criminal case, then there will be both sentencing and compensation. The amount of the compensation then can be considered for a lighter sentence.
More speculations spread on the Internet, someone exposed that the suspect Liu Zinan’s uncle is a high ranking official of the police in Beijing. According to this blog, November 19 when people do not understand why the incident is developing in this way, the high-level official already intervened. Liu Zinan’s uncle in Beijing called the victim’s family, he was representing Beijing Public Security, ordered the victim to take no more legal action, and urge them to settle the case in private.