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December 15, 2009

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Lawyer arrested for advising client to lie

POLICE have arrested a lawyer who is accused of advising a suspected mob master to lie in court and say his confession was obtained by torture.

Gong Gangmo, facing charges of running organized crime in Chongqing, told police that his lawyer, Li Zhuang, promised him lighter punishment if he lied about his confession, China News Service reported yesterday.

Gong told the police that Li and Ma Xiaojun, another lawyer, taught him several tricks to escape conviction including colluding with his wife, lying about being tortured while interrogation, and saying his former confession was compelled by violence.

"He told me to say that I was hung on the roof by police for eight days and was beaten until I was incontinent," the report quoted Gong as saying. Li allegedly fabricated all the details of Gong's confession to the court, the report said.

Gong said the Beijing-based lawyer asked him for 1.5 million yuan (US$220,000) and claimed he was an "expert in saving the guilty from prison."

Li's so called "rescuing team" got 2.45 million yuan for Gong's case. They asked for more than 20 million yuan if Gong was not sentenced to death.

Gong said the lawyer made him sign on several blank sheets and he was worried that Li could easily steal from his bank account with his signature.

The 48-year-old lawyer raised the issue of a compelled confession last week. Prosecutors said he was trying to thwart the trial from opening.


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