June 30, 2014 8:00 pm
Updated: June 30, 2014 10:33 pm

Sentenced reduced for Chinese man accused of killing girlfriend in B.C.


VANCOUVER – A man who was found guilty of killing his girlfriend in B.C. will no longer spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Twenty-0ne-year-old Amanda Zhao came to Canada in 2002 to study English. She disappeared that same year and her body was found stuffed in a suitcase near Stave Lake in Mission.

Shortly after, her ex-boyfriend Ang Li fled to China before charges could be laid.

Authorities there refused to extradite him to Canada so he stood trial in China instead.

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In 2012 a court found him guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison.

However, a Chinese court has now changed his sentence from murder to manslaughter and his sentence has been reduced to seven years.

The NDP said it was contacted by Zhao’s family on Sunday who told them that the high court in Beijing had just overturned Li’s first-degree murder sentence.

The reduced sentence means Li will be released on June 27, 2016. He has been in custody since June 29, 2009.

In a news conference on Monday, the NDP explained what the Chinese court documents contained.

“The evidence is clear and solid, and they list all the evidence that was presented in the document,” said Jenny Kwan, NDP MLA for Vancouver – Mount Pleasant. “It argued that Ang Li’s behaviour indicated that it was murder and that anyone who’s an adult ought to know that when you are suffocating anyone for any length of time, that would result in the person dying.”

“As well, in spite of the fact that Ang Li had attempted to get rid of the body.. to that end, the ruling, which is listed on page 30 of the document, does say though that [there’s] a lack of evidence in first-degree murder and incited the fact that Ang Li and Amanda Zhao were a couple and that they were having a pillow fight and there was some force used and as a result Amanda Zhao had died resulting from that,” added Kwan.

The court document.

Zhao’s family said they still want to fight for justice, but the B.C. court has no jurisdiction over this ruling.

Speaking through a translator at the press conference, her family said this ruling is unacceptable, they don’t understand it and they don’t accept it.

“A rapist could be sentenced to 10 years in jail in China, not to mention a murderer,” said the family in a statement. “We neither understand nor accept the ruling. The ruling changes our opinion about the fairness of the law.”

“The law can be bought with money and power and we will continue to pursue justice.”

They are alluding to the fact that Ang Li’s father is a high-ranking military official in China and that may have had something to do with the change of sentence but there is no evidence of that.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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