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Fatal brawl: lawsuit is dropped against 4 men

THE plaintiff withdrew a lawsuit against four of the seven defendants on the second day of court proceedings concerning a fatal street brawl involving six police officers in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province.

The family of Lin Songling, the victim in the fight, which took place on October 11, said they would drop the charges against four police officers along with demands for damages on Wednesday morning in the courtroom.

The four officers, Wang Jingang, Li Xinyu, Luan Ao and Li Feng, left the courtroom immediately. They are also spared criminal charges because a surveillance video of the fight did not show they contributed to Lin's death.

Lin's father said his family only wanted the men to learn their lesson.

However, Lin's family are asking the other two officers, Qi Xin and Liu Li'nan, as well as the operator of the Candy Bar, where the fight took place, for 400,000 yuan (US$58,500) in compensation.

Qi and Liu are accused of beating Lin to death in front of the nightclub.

They face charges of assault and battery for their roles in the fight, which led to the death of the 22-year-old Lin.

Hu Fengbin, the plaintiff's attorney, said he had told Lin's family to demand 700,000 yuan for Lin's death but they insisted on 500,000 yuan at first and then lowered it to 400,000 yuan.

Lin's father said his main desire is to see the two officers "pay with their lives" for his son's death.

Though the video clip showed Lin attacked officers initially and even picked up cement blocks to hit Qi over the head, Lin's father said Lin had never attended brawls before and was just trying to help his friends, who were also involved in the fight.

Liu was reported to express his regret about Lin's death. He wept in the courtroom when confronted by Lin's father during Wednesday's hearing.

Speaking in his defense, Liu told Lin's family he was willing to take responsibility and compensate with all his assets.

"I understand there is no way to get your son's life back no matter how much I pay," Liu said.

He bowed to Lin's father before leaving the court.

Lin's father said he had changed his mind about Liu, even though Liu had chased Lin after he tried to run away, which led to Lin's death.


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