Man deported from Canada admits crimes: China

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:03am EST
 
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's most wanted man, who was deported from Canada in July after a decades-long legal battle, has admitted to his crimes and will now be handed over to prosecutors, state media reported on Friday.

Beijing had sought the deportation of Lai Changxing for years, accusing him of running a multi-billion dollar smuggling ring in the southeastern city of Xiamen in the 1990s in one of China's biggest political scandals in decades.

Nothing has been heard of him since he was returned to China over the summer.

A brief report on state radio's website (www.cnr.cn) said the probe into his crimes had finished and that Lai would now be handed over to Xiamen prosecutors.

"Lai Changxing and other mainstay members of his criminal clique candidly confessed the facts of their smuggling and bribery crimes," state radio said.

The "legal rights" of Lai and the other suspects were "fully guaranteed," with Lai able to meet with his lawyer, the report added.

The investigation team carried out the probe "fairly and in accordance with the law," it said.

Lai may face life imprisonment, state media has reported. But some legal experts and human rights activists have said it was unlikely Lai could receive a fair trial in China.

The report did not say when Lai's case may come to trial.   Continued...