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Death on the Bund after row over fliers

A MAN who stabbed another man dead in a dispute over fliers advertising plane tickets went on trial yesterday with his wife.

Prosecutors charged Liu Jianping, 56, with murder, and his wife, Guo Haiping, 52, with accessory to murder. The hearing was held at the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

The court heard that the couple came to the city from Linxian County, Shanxi Province, in February 2007 to help take care of their newborn grandson. They found work handing out fliers on the Bund. A woman surnamed Li, also from Linxian County, and her family were working for another company handing out fliers in the same place.

On June 8 last year, Guo was chased away and beaten by Li's 18-year-old son, Zhang Yong, who was angry that she was handing out fliers in the same area. Guo told Liu, who said they should start carrying knives for protection, it was alleged.

On June 13, Liu is said to have given Guo a knife before they went to the Bund to hand out fliers. Zhang again tried to drive Guo away violently. Guo took out her knife and Liu, who was behind Zhang, stabbed him, according to prosecutors.

Zhang tried to run away but fell to the ground. Liu allegedly tried to stab him again, but was stopped by others. Zhang died later in hospital.

The two families had fought numerous times in the past over who had the right to hand out fliers in the area, the court heard.

On March 30, 2008, Liu, who suffered from cerebral thrombosis and had difficulty walking, was beaten by Li and her husband when he was handing out fliers. Liu received 19 stitches to his head. The attack left an eight centimeter scar, the court heard.

Shortly afterwards, the Huangpu District People's Court sentenced Li and her husband to two months in prison with probation for the assault.

"Li and her husband threatened to beat us every time they saw us near the Bund," Liu said. "Our survival was threatened. They weren't allowing us to earn a living so we had to risk our lives to fight with them."

Guo's lawyer said she was not guilty, and that she had acted in self-defence. The lawyer said Guo had not suggested they carry knives, nor did she attack the victim. Liu admitted killing Zhang but said he was acting in self-defence.

Prosecutors said the defendants bore serious responsibility for the death of the young man, but admitted the victim was also at fault.

The victim's family demanded more than 630,000 yuan (US$92,295) of compensation at the hearing. The defendants said they were willing to compensate but had no means of paying.

The court didn't announce a verdict after the hearing.


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