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December 22, 2009

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Professor's secretary named in theft link

TWO suspected thieves caught with millions of yuan worth of antiques and books from the residence of late scholar Ji Xianlin are related to his former secretary, the scholar's son told Beijing Evening News yesterday.

Beijing police had detained the two suspects and recovered all the stolen items, the newspaper said.

Ji Xianlin's former home on the campus in Peking University where he worked was ransacked last Wednesday with the balcony window smashed, according to earlier media reports.

The two suspects were related to Li Yujie, Ji Xianlin's former secretary, Ji's son Ji Cheng told Beijing Evening News.

One of them is Fang Xianru, the former butler Li had hired for Ji Xianlin, and the other is Wang Ru who claimed to be Li's adoptive daughter, according to Ji Cheng.

Fang had sealed his room at Ji Xianlin's former residence at Langrun Garden on the campus when he was sacked by Ji Cheng in May, the report said. Fang refused to hand over keys to his room.

Ji Cheng was reportedly in dispute with the university over how to keep his father's valuable books and items. He indicated Li had been trying to conceal the true volume and value of his father's books and items from him.

Ji Cheng said he would take better care of the items when they were returned but had no idea where to keep them.

Peking University said on its Website that it had already given all valuable items in Ji Xianlin's residence to Ji Cheng.

Ji Xianlin, an oriental studies professor at the university from 1946 to 1983, diedon July 11 at the age of 98in Beijing. He could speak 12 languages fluently.


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