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Charges of witness tampering don't stick

Updated: 2011-04-23 07:50

(China Daily)

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CHONGQING - Prosecutors in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality dropped charges on Friday against the Beijing lawyer Li Zhuang, who was accused of encouraging a witness to fabricate evidence.

Prosecutors announced the decision at a trial on Friday morning, saying they believe there are serious holes in the evidence against the lawyer, who was convicted last year on similar charges and is serving a sentence of 18 months in prison.

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Li, 49, is a lawyer with the Beijing KangDa Law Firm. He was charged with instructing a witness, Xu Lijun, to give false testimony in court during an embezzlement trial.

At court hearings held on Tuesday and Wednesday, prosecutors said Li's client in that trial, Meng Ying, the legal representative of Shanghai Jintangcheng Bath Co Ltd, had been charged in June 2008 with embezzling 500,000 yuan ($76,552) from Xu's 1 million yuan investment in the company. His alleged motive in the crime was to repay personal debts.

Li was later accused of persuading Xu to falsely tell the court that the money was meant as a loan to Meng and was to be used to help Xu recover his money.

Li disputed the charges in court, saying he had not influenced Xu's testimony.

In response, prosecutors produced evidence in an attempt at proving Li had persuaded Xu to make false statements.

On Friday, the prosecutors said the evidence the defendant produced during the hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday contradicted the prosecutors' own evidence.

The court granted the withdrawal of the charges.



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