11/16/2016, 19.34
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Jinglong Jia executed for killing party secretary who demolished his home

by Wang Zhicheng

The sentence was carried out yesterday. For two years, Jia had asked for compensation but had received no reply. Threats accompanied the demolition. For Peking University law experts, the court is always more lenient for party bosses, as evinced in the case of Gu Kailai, the wife of Bo Xilai, who was spared the death sentence, even though she too killed someone.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A man from Hebei province was executed yesterday morning. He was convicted for the murder of his village chief who had ordered the demolition of his house. On social media, the case has sparked a debate on the double standards of China’s justice system.

The man who died was Jia Jinglong, 30. In May 2013, he was getting married. Fifteen days before the wedding, his village chief, in league with a construction company, had his home demolished. A bunch of thugs also beat up Jia and a relative when they tried to stop the destruction.

All the papers were in order since Jia's father had signed them. However, the latter eventually said that he had been forced to ink the order issued by the village chief. Had he refused, the pension application by Jia’s grandmother would have been rejected.

Two years later, after his girlfriend called off the wedding, Jia picked up a nail gun and killed the village chief, who was also the local Communist Party boss.

A court in Hebei sentenced him to death in May 2015, and this month China’s Supreme court ratified the decision. Yesterday morning, Jia’s relatives met the young man before his lethal injection.

Such cases of forced demolition for real estate development are very common in China. Compensation, when offered, is usually very low, never enough to buy a new house.

Still, this particular case has drawn the attention of several lawyers and legal scholars who wrote an open letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Zhou Qiang.

Qianfan Zhang and He Weifang of Peking University are among the signatories. They note that Jia was the victim of illegal forced demolition and intimidation. Above all, Jia was given the death sentence when in more serious cases, the court showed greater leniency, perhaps because the accused were corrupt former members of the government.

For the lawyers, the case in point is that of Gu Kailai, wife of Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai, who killed a British businessman, Niel Heywood, in 2011, and received a suspended death sentence.

A spokesman for the Supreme Court that approved the execution said that Jia’s crime was premeditated and perpetrated with “deliberate malice."

However, at no time did the spokesman acknowledge that Jia Jinglong had asked for compensation for two years for his demolished house, never getting an answer.

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