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Charge downgraded for bank kidnap suspect

A COLLEGE student who held two Beijing bank clients hostage to ask for a ransom of 100,000 yuan (US$14,646) may get off lightly after prosecutors downgraded the charge against him.

Haidian District People's Procuratorate yesterday filed a charge of abduction against Li Li, a student at the University of Science and Technology Beijing, today's China Youth Daily reported.

He had been accused of robbery. Prosecutors said Li had limited responsibility because he was suffering depression and autism at the time.

Li stormed into a Bank of China outlet in the university on July 12 and demanded 100,000 yuan from bank clerks by taking two clients as hostage. He also threatened to blow up the bank if his demand was turned down.

He escaped with the money but police caught him in front of a supermarket.


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