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Chinese jailed for murder in New Zealand

08-18-2011 09:53 BJT

First time case from overseas has been tried in China

SHANGHAI - A Chinese man who killed a New Zealand taxi driver in Auckland last year was sentenced to 15 years in prison at Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court on Wednesday.

Xiao Zhen, 24, was found guilty of intentionally causing injury to Hiren Mohini, a 39-year-old taxi driver, in January 2010.

The case marks the first time a crime committed abroad has been tried in China. Xiao was put on trial in China because China and New Zealand do not have an extradition treaty. A deal on the case between the two countries included an agreement that there would be no capital punishment imposed, according to New Zealand police detective Hywel Jones, a senior sergeant handling the case, Auckland Now reported.

In court on Wednesday, Xiao, wearing a black T-shirt and in handcuffs, was composed when the judge read the verdict.

Xiao, who had been studying in New Zealand for several years, was arrested at home in Shanghai four months after the killing.

The court heard that on the night of Jan 31, 2010, he hailed a taxi near Sky City, Auckland, to see friends. He chatted with Mohini but the talk turned into a heated argument on Asians working in restaurants in New Zealand. Xiao said he asked to get out of the taxi and refused to pay. The two then fought for a couple of minutes. Xiao said he reached for his knife intending to stab the driver's hand to get away from the fight, but he might have stabbed somewhere else, and he could not remember how many times he stabbed the driver.

On his return to his apartment, Xiao told his roommate that he was injured in a basketball game and asked for some painkillers. The following day he read about the case and decided to return to China. Xiao left New Zealand on Feb 5 and was arrested on June 10, 2010.

During his four-month stay at home in Shanghai after returning to China, he did not mention a word about the case to his family.

At his Aug 2 trial, Xiao confessed to the crime. He said he regretted his actions and that he was willing to make financial compensation to the family of the deceased.

Jones said the verdict was fair and was what New Zealand police had hoped for, according to Reuters.

Xiao's lawyer Jiang Zhengqun said on Wednesday that whether Xiao would appeal will depend on the defendant.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: China Daily

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