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August 18, 2011

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Taxi driver's killer jailed for 15 years in Shanghai

A SHANGHAI man who stabbed a taxi driver to death in Auckland was jailed for 15 years by a court in Shanghai yesterday.

Xiao Zhen, 25, who was studying in New Zealand, stabbed Hiren Mohini, 39, more than 10 times in the early morning of January 31 last year as he wrestled with him after refusing to pay the fare.

Xiao had pled guilty to intentional injury at an earlier appearance and yesterday Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled he had meant to hurt the driver though his act of violence was not premeditated.

Xiao received the sentence calmly. He just glanced at his father before being taken from the court.

At a previous appearance, Xiao said he was deeply sorry for what he did and his family were willing to offer compensation to the victim's family.

The court received a letter from the victim's family, saying they had forgiven Xiao and hoped he would receive a lenient sentence after Xiao's family wrote to them to apologize.

Officer in charge

Falguni Mohini, the victim's widow, said: "I feel a little bit of relief. It's a matter between two different countries and we are satisfied with the result."

Detective Senior Sergeant Hywel Jones, the officer in charge of the murder investigation, was in Shanghai for the trial and to hear yesterday's verdict.

"The evidence against Xiao that was collected, collated and presented to the court was compelling. The prosecution process has been intriguing and is a testament to international cooperation," he said.

Xiao got into an argument with Mohini during the taxi trip and was enraged when the driver began to abuse him, the court heard. Though he had not reached his destination, Xiao told Mohini to stop the car and refused to pay the fare.

Xiao claimed during the earlier appearance that he just wanted to get away and used the knife to stab the driver so that he could escape.

He had no idea he had stabbed the driver in the heart until he read media reports the next day.

He fled back to China but was arrested in Shanghai four months later.


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