Top court retries former electrical appliances tycoon case

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-14 23:12:37|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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  SHENZHEN, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The Supreme People's Court (SPC) first circuit court on Wednesday and Thursday conducted an open retrial of the criminal case involving Gu Chujun, former chairman of refrigerator maker Guangdong Kelon Electrical Holdings.

  A collegiate bench with Pei Xianding, chief of the SPC first circuit court, as the presiding judge heard the case.

  The Supreme People's Procuratorate designated prosecutors for the retrial.

  Gu and six other defendants in the original case, as well as their lawyers attended the proceeding.

  Gu was arrested in 2005. In 2009, a final court ruling by Guangdong Higher People's Court sentenced Gu to 10 years in prison for falsely reporting registered capital, falsifying and withholding information, and embezzlement. He was also fined 6.8 million yuan (1.06 million U.S. dollars).

  In September 2012, after serving his term in prison, Gu filed a petition to the SPC. The SPC, after a review, announced a decision to retry the case in December 2017.

  During the court investigation phase of the retrial, the bench conducted a comprehensive hearing of the facts alleged in the original ruling and organized cross-examinations by the procuratorial and defense sides about the disputed evidence as well as new evidence submitted by the two sides or acquired by the court.

  The court also asked witnesses and experts to appear in court to give testimony or opinions.

  During court debate, the two sides have fully expressed their opinions, according to a court statement.

  Gu, other defendants and their counsels insisted on acquittals.

  The prosecutors said Gu and others indeed falsely reported registered capital, but the act was of relatively small social harms and was not a crime.

They insisted that Kelon made false sales at the end of 2002, 2003 and 2004, leading to false information in their annual reports, though they said there are no sufficient evidence to show that this has seriously harmed shareholders' interest, hence Gu and others should be acquitted of charges.

The prosecutors said the original ruling on one count of embezzlement involving 290 million yuan was supported by proper evidence and appropriate.

Another count of embezzlement involving 63 million yuan has factual basis but the original ruling applied the wrong law, the prosecutors said, adding Gu and others should be acquitted of this charge as no evidence shows that they personally benefited from the case.

  The court statement said the rights of all parties have been fully protected and the bench also worked to ensure the court order despite fierce exchanges of opinions between the two sides.

  Families of the defendants as well as national lawmakers, political advisors, scholars and representatives of related units attended the retrial.

  Information about the proceeding was made public on the SPC's Weibo account.

  The court ruling will be announced at a later date.