Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fugitive Capitalist Lai Changxing exiled to China

Escapee Chinese entrepreneur Lai Changxing arrived back in Beijingon Saturday after being expelled from Canada, finishing a 12-year lawful and diplomatic tug-of-war that tested the countries' relations.

Lai landed in the Chinese capital aboard a civilian flight in the supervision of Canadian police and was handed over to officials who detained him, state television said, referring a Ministry of Public Security statement.
China's Xinhua news agency had explained earlier that Lai had been flown from the Canadian west coast city of Vancouver.
Canadian officials moved quickly to return Lai after a federal court on Thursday verdict he should be extradited a move blocked for years by Canada's courts and refugee board out of fear he could be implemented or tortured.
Canada, which does not have capital sentence, bans the return of captives to countries where they might be put to death.
But China has issued a strange assurance not to execute Lai -- believed to be 52 -- if he is tried and found guilty.
Lai's sent back marks a triumph for Beijing, which had attempted for in excess of a decade to protect his return -- and the elimination of a diplomatic tension for Ottawa.
Lai is charged of running a smuggling loop in southeastern China's Fujian province that moved illegal imports variously estimated to be worth between $6 billion and $10 billion.
Chinese government media said it could prove to be the massive case of economic corruption in the country since the Communists took over in 1949.
Lai escaped to Canada along with his family members in 1999 after the case come forward, rocking Fujian's political establishment and leading to the discharge or detention of several officials there implicated in suspected misconduct.
Lai required safe heaven in Canada, where he arrived on a tourist visa with his then wife, two sons and a daughter, stating the Chinese allegations against him were politically prompted.
The entrepreneur's lawyers have disagreed that numbers of his partners have died or misplaced in Chinese justice system.
But he has been identified an "ordinary criminal" by politicians and judges in Canada.
In a statement, The Chinese foreign ministry said that it "welcomed" the court move to authorize his banishment, calling Lai the "crucial criminal suspect" in the case.
The statement also said Beijing "has seized a very obvious position on sending home Lai to be attempted according to the law".
Lai will now probably face an investigation in China and a longer jail punishment if offender. Xinhua referred Chinese legal experts saying he would not face execution.

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