The "Accidental" Death Of A Village Mayor
(YCWB) December 27, 2010.
At 13:11 on December 25, a netizen “queqinggongmin” made a post to say that Qian Yunhui, ex-mayor of Zhaiqiao village, Puqi town, Yueqing city, Zhejiang province was killed when a truck ran over him. This netizen claimed that before he died, "he was held down on the ground so that the truck could run him over." The posted photos showed the deceased person lying in the middle of the road, with both knees on the ground and the neck right underneath the car tire.
This information was confirmed that night. At 18:21 on December 25, the Yueqing Net posted an item on its home page under the byline "Yueqing Publicity": "At about 9am on December 25, there was a traffic incident on a road in Zhaiqiao village, Hongnan Highway, Yueqing city. A construction truck with license plate number Anhui K5B323 knocked down a pedestrian. The police arrived at the scene and found that the pedestrian was already deceased. According to information, the deceased was 53-year-old Zhaiqiao resident Qian Yunhui. The Yueqing city leaders are taking the matter seriously. They were at the scene in the first instant to direct activities. The truck driver is under police custody. The case is being investigated at this time."
On December 26, tens of thousands of netizens were coming to read the Internet post. Many of them could not understand what happened given what was shown in the photos from the scene.
Some netizens say that the death had to do with an Internet post that Qian Yunhui made about corruption in land requisition.
Our reporter found that Qian Yunhui had a post on August 9 this year about the disposition of more than 100 hectares of Zhaiqiao village land in 2004. "In order to solve this problem, I and other villagers have worked hard for six years without resolution. I am therefore forced to reveal the facts over the Internet ... I take responsibility if there is any inaccuracy in this post."
On December 26, our reporter contacted the netizen “queqinggongmin” who made the post about the traffic incident. He said that Qian Yunhui was jailed for several years after he denounced local cadres and was released only just recently. But now Qian Yunhui has been killed by a truck, some other villagers have been arrested and "most villagers are too scared to talk."
On December 26, our reporter contacted the Yueqing Public Security Bureau and asked if villagers were arrested after the traffic incident. The person in charge was evasive and would only say that a press release was forthcoming. When our reporter got the press release at 19:20 on December 26, the answer to the question was not given.
The press release stated that at 9:45 on December 25, the pedestrian Qian Yunhui was knocked down by the construction truck with license number Anhui K5B323 and got his shoulder/neck trapped under the left front wheel of the truck. According to the Yueqing traffic police, the driver/owner was Fei Liangyu (of Anhui province). Fei had just purchased the truck this September and does not have an operator license. On that day, Fei Liangyu and companion Huang Biao were transporting stone to a construction site. At this time, Fei Liangyu is detained by the police; Huang Biao is being subject to administration detention for providing false evidence.
(China Youth Daily) December 27, 2010.
The New Year is approaching and a festive mood is gradually spreading across the rural areas of China. On this day, 53-year-old village mayor Qian Yunhui laid dead with his neck broken by a big construction truct in Zhaiqiao village, Puqi town, Yueqing city, Zhejiang province.
The truck ran over Qian Yunhui at around 9:25am on the Hongnan Highway at the entrance to Zhaoqiao village.
By 9:30am a number of villagers were surrounding the body of Qian Yunhui. Many took photos. Meanwhile the driver has gone off.
At the scene villagers were whispering to each other: "Four men carried the village mayor and tossed him underneath the truck to roll over." Very quickly, the local Internet forums were buzzing with posts titled "The only village mayor who worked for the people was murdered this morning" and "Injustice in Yueqing Zhaiqiao."
At the local news portal, there was only one brief item about the death of Qian Yunhui: "There was a traffic accident today in Puqi town, Yueqing city. One person died."
At 18:42, Wenzhou Daily's website Wenzhou Net posted the official news report by correspondent Wu Xiaozuo and reporter Zhang Dan. The report said: "A truck carrying stone knocked down a pedestrian, causing his death. According to information, the truck has license plate Anhui K5B323 and came from the Yueqing Lingang Industrial District land reclamation project. The Yueqing public security bureau received citizen reports and immediately dispatched traffic policemen to the scene. The Puqi border police station was also notified. According to investigation, the deceased was a 53-year-old male resident of Zhaiqiao village. The relevant Yueqing leader is taking this case very seriously and went to the scene to take charge immediately. At this time, the truck driver is under police custody. The matter is presently being investigated."
It was this last paragraph that raised questions for netizens. They said that "if this was just an ordinary traffic accident, then why is the Yueqing leader taking this case 'very seriously'?"
The China Youth Daily reporter contacted Zhaiqiao village residents. According to many residents, "the telephones in the village are under control. Anyone makes a call and the government knows immediately." Many residents have received calls from the town government telling them: "Villagers are saying that we government people picked him up and threw him underneath the truck. It didn't happen that way."
"If this was an ordinary traffic incident, why would the government need to impose control?" Netizens asked.
On December 26, local villagers wrote on the Internet: "This is strange. Isn't the city party committee taking the matter very seriously? Yesterday they were acting vigorously and speedily. Today? I couldn't see anyone at the village entrance. Could it be that they have already solved the case because they are so good? Could it be that the crime scene does not need to be preserved anymore? Or could it be that they arrested all the troublemakers yesterday and there is nobody left to make trouble?"
In the photos that are unbearable to view, Qian Yunhui laid in the middle of the road with his head down and his elbows bent as if he was raising his hands. His neck was right underneath the construction truck. His head was severed from his body. Based upon these photos, netizens have found five main points of doubt:
One, the mystery of the truck going the wrong way. "The road section was supposed to be two lanes each going in both directions. Why is it now one lane going in both directions? Why was the truck not driving in the normal direction? Why did it go in the wrong direction and killed the person?"
Two, the mystery of the direction of the body. "If the deceased was crossing the road and got hit by the truck, his body would be in the same direction as the road. The forward force could not possibly make him fall sideways. When hit, the whole body should be underneath the truck and not just the neck. Why was his body at 90 degrees against the wheel/road? Did the deceased get down on his knees and stuck his head out waiting to be hit?"
Three, the mystery of the non-working surveillance camera. "Everybody knows that the 'Peaceful Zhejiang' project includes a 'Sky Net' system in which every road intersection/village entrance has a camera. By chance, the 'Sky Net' camera at the village entrance where the incident took place went missing/non-working. Was this a coincidence or an deliberate human act?"
Four, the mystery of why the truck did not stop. "The government says that it was a traffic incident. But there is no sign of brake marks on the road. We can see the car tires. There is not a hint that the truck braked! Not even a tiny little bit!"
Five, the mystery of why the truck driver was taken away. "The news story said that the driver is under police control. Five minutes after the incident, the driver was gone. Villagers said that the special police took him away. Aren't the special police there too quickly? Could they be waiting there in preparation already?"
"It is sad that the village director met such an end. He petitioned several times, he went to jail several times. Now he ends up under the wheel ..." Zhaiqiao villagers told the China Youth Daily reporter.
Our reporter learned that since five years ago, Qian Yunhui was an elected director of the village representatives committee.
On April 3, 2004, the Zhejiang Energy Yueqing Electricity Generator Plant requisitioned 146 hectares of land from Zhaiqiao village. The villagers received zero compensation and therefore did not sign the agreement. On April 20, 2005, there was a new election for Zhaiqiao village representatives and Qian Yunhui was elected. Twenty days after the election, villagers asked him to demand an explanation. Thus he led the villagers down the long road of petitioning.
During the petitioning process, he was tossed in jail three times.
In April 2010, there were news reports that <Voters were "agreed" in the Yueqing city Puqi town Zhaiqiao village election> about certain irregularities in the election. At the time, people told reporters that the candidates were withdrawing/quitting because village mayor Qian Yunhui was still incarcerated. The government meddled with the election because they were afraid that the villagers would elect Qian Yunhui again once he got out of jail.
The villagers said, "The Zhejiang Energy Electricity Generator Plant requisitioned our land without paying any compensation. The plant is now ready for operation. Meanwhile the government has given more land to a Hong Kong company to build the Lingang Development Zone. The truck that ran over Qian Yunhui came from the Lingang Development Zone."
Zhaiqiao villagers and people from nearby villagers agreed: "This village mayor was jailed many years because he complained about the land requisitions. He was released recently. He is the top favorite candidate in this year's village mayoral election. Now he is dead just before the election. This is incredible ..."
On December 26, the China Youth Daily reporter saw this report on Wenzhou Net: "On December 26, our reporter contacted the Yueqing city Puqi town Party Political Office. A worker named Zhang said that he is aware of the Internet stories. 'This was just a traffic accident. But some people with ulterior motives want to link this to the previous petitions.' He said that Qian Yunhui had been the Zhaiqiao village mayor in 2005. Our reporter then contacted the Yueqing city party publicity department and the Yueqing city public security bureau. Both said that they will have additional information about the investigation later in the afternoon. At 17:18, our reporter called the Yueqing city party publicity department again. The worker said that there is no new information as yet."
Today the post by Qian Yunhui remains at the Tianya Forum and other websites. It was in June 2010 that he wrote: "These efforts to steal by fiat and to hoodwink the people are the works of officials or thieves? Why would a village where people live by farming give away their land for nothing?"
"In order to resolve the land problems at Zhaiqiao vilalge, I Qian Yunhui and other villagers have sought an explanation for six years. But the problems have never been properly dealt with. I am forced to disclose the facts over the Internet so that more people will know and the interests of the people are genuinely protected."
This was signed "representative Qian Yunhui" who said "I Qian Yunhui take responsibility if there is any inaccuracy in this post."
The villagers said that Qian Yunhui rarely slept well over the years of petitioning. Now his eyes are closed forever.
(People Net) December 27, 2010.
This afternoon the Yueqing city authorities held a press conference. The Yueqing public security bureau described the incident: At 9:45 on December 25, the driver Fei Liangyu drove a construction truck with license number Anhui K5B323 from Hongqiao town towards the Lingang Land Reclamation Construction Site. When passing the Hongnan Highway through Zhaiqiao village, the deceased Qian Yunhui crossed the road from right to left while holding an umbrella in his hand. The construction truck braked quickly but still collided with Qian. Qian was dead at the scene.
Why was the truck going down the wrong direction? The Yueqing traffic police said that electric cables were being laid down on the right side of Hongnan Highway that day, so that traffic was diverted. The police said that the driver Fei Liangyu braked the truck and they showed photos from the scene of brake marks that measured 5.4 meters long.
At the time of the incident, there were two persons in the truck: Fei Liangyu and Huang Biao. Fei Liangyu was driving the truck. The police had previously said that Huang was administratively detained for providing false evidence. At this press conference, the Yueqing traffic police said that Fei Liangyu was not licensed to operate the truck. As such, the insurance company will not pay for the incident. Huang Biao attempted to say that he was the driver instead of Fei. The police were able to find the truth. The Yueqing public security bureau also said that it was the driver who summoned the police and turned himself in. The Internet claim that the driver was taken away by the special police was false.
As for the lack of video surveillance evidence at the scene, Chian Mobile's Yueqing division explained that the "Peaceful Zhejiang" surveillance system was first initiated on December 21. They were still checking the equipment on the morning of December 25. Since the factory did not supply the special codes, the video cameras can be used for viewing but no data were recorded.
According to information, the police detained six troublemakers including Qian Chengyu. They said that when the police arrived at the scene, the family of the deceased and other villagers were building a mourning hall, setting up illegal road blocks and interfering with the police in the collection of evidence. During the process, five police officers were injured.
The investigation is still ongoing.
(Global Times) Officials deny former village director was murdered Pang Qi December 27, 2010
A former village director died after a truck rolled over him in Zhaiqiao village, Yueqing city of Zhejiang Province on Saturday, according to a local media report on 66wz.com, and online commentators and local residents are saying that he was murdered.
The body of Qian Yunhui, 53, the former director of the village of Zhaiqiao, was found on a road in the village on Saturday morning. The Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Yueqing said at the press conference Monday afternoon that Qian's death was due to a traffic accident.
A spokesman for the traffic police said that Qian was walking across the road, and the driver started to brake 5.4 meters away from him. But Fei Liangyu, the driver of the truck who is accused of being responsible for the death, does not hold a driving license, and he has been detained.
One netizen using the online name "Punish the Murderer" raised questions about the position of Qian's body in a post on Tianya.com, a popular forum in China. He said that the position indicates that he was not knocked down accidentally but that the vehicle deliberately rolled over him.
The netizen also thinks that a CCTV camera supposedly located at the site of the incident was removed. "Is that a coincidence, or a deliberate act?" Punish the Murderer asked.
The camera supplier said that it installed the CCTV camera only recently but it did not record anything as it was being tested.
Qian was selected as the village director in 2005, and he reportedly organized petitions related to land acquisition issues in his village. According to staff at the town government, Qian was detained twice due to gathering crowds to disturb social order, and once for illegally transferring land possession.
An officer at the Party and Administration Office in Yueqing was quoted by Chinese media Sunday as saying that "people who are connecting this accident with Qian's petitions must have ulterior motives."
The PSB stressed that Qian was no longer in office at the time of his death.
On August 9, a comment posted online under the name Qian Yunhui, said that 146 hectare of agricultural land in Zhaiqiao village has been taken over by an electricity station in 2004 and the villagers had not received any compensation. It also said that the villagers who attempted to get answers from the government were detained. Four people including Qian himself were sentenced to 18 months in jail, with a two-year reprieve, said the comment.
(China Daily) Foul play suspected in death of village head December 28, 2010.
Authorities in East China's Zhejiang province reiterated on Monday that the death of a local village head, who had served prison time for leading protests over land expropriation disputes, was due to a traffic accident rather than any malicious intrigue.
Qian Yunhui, head of Zhaiqiao village in the city of Yueqing, was killed on the morning of Dec 25 in a road accident in the village in which a truck severed his head.
The death has stirred strong suspicion among the public. Local villagers and netizens questioned the validity of hurried official conclusions that did not appear to be based on sufficient evidence.
At a press conference on Monday, local police stuck to their earlier statement that Qian was hit by a truck driven by a man without a license when Qian was crossing the road holding an umbrella, which might have blocked his sight of the approaching vehicle.
He was then run over by the truck despite the driver's efforts to brake, police said.
But at the popular Internet forum Tianya and the Sina micro blog, villagers and netizens claimed the way the 53-year-old man was lying under the truck -- his body and the tire of the truck formed a 90 degree angle -- might suggest that he was deliberately held beneath the tire and ground to death.
If he had been knocked down by a moving truck, they claimed, he would have been lying in a forward direction.
Netizens also wondered why the truck was being driven on the left side of the road instead of the right, as is required by Chinese traffic law.
Police said that was because the driver was avoiding piles of cables that were blocking the right side.
They also said the monitoring camera at the site of the accident did not have a recording function, so there was no video evidence of the tragedy.
The unlicensed driver had been detained, police said, adding that another six villagers who attacked police when they arrived to investigate the accident had also been taken into custody.
For the past six years, Qian had been leading local villagers' protests and petitions against the expropriation of their farmland for industrial development.
In 2004 a power company seized nearly 150 hectares of agricultural land without paying a penny of compensation to the locals, according to a post on Tianya in August written by someone using Qian, the same name as the victim of the accident.
China Youth Daily reported on Monday that Qian had been thrown into prison three times in the past six years for his persistent demands for compensation.
The report also quoted local villagers as saying Qian was very protective of his fellow villagers' interests and that he was very likely to be re-elected as village head during the upcoming election.
(66WZ.com) Incident scene photos released by the Wenzhou police. December 28, 2010.
(Global Times) Former village head killed in dubious crash December 28, 2010.
The hit-and-run death of a former village head in Yueqing, Zhejiang Province, is shrouded in controversy as local residents questioned police accounts of the Saturday incident.
Some Web users claimed that photos provided by police were not convincing and that witness accounts indicated it appeared to be murder.
The authorities dismissed suspicions that the former official was murdered for having petitioned on behalf of his fellow villagers for compensation of farmland acquisitions since 2005.
Yueqing police said they had detained Fei Liangyu, 32, an unlicensed truck driver who came from neighboring Anhui Province, for hitting and killing 53-year-old Qian Yunhui, a former head of Zhaiqiao village.
Qian was hit while crossing the street with his umbrella open and was beheaded by Fei's truck, which was traveling in the wrong direction, police said. But officials refused to provide traffic surveillance video footage.
Two traffic policemen arrived at the scene eight minutes after receiving emergency calls from witnesses, officials said, adding that about 40 people gathered at the scene and attempted to interfere in the police investigation.
More police were called in later to contain the situation, but they too were caught in a conflict with witnesses who gathered to mourn the dead, police said.
Five policemen were injured, and six locals were detained.
After being elected as village head in 2005, Qian repeatedly asked the Yueqing city government to compensate villagers for 146 hectares of farmland acquisition, the China Youth Daily reported, citing villagers.
The land was used to make way for a power station owned by the Zhejiang Provincial Energy Group Company without villagers' consent, and villagers did not receive any compensation, the paper said.
The company could not be reached Monday.
Villagers were entitled to between 12.26 million yuan ($3 million) and 65.7 million yuan in compensation, according to local regulations.
Qian was detained three times for his petitions, and he was only recently freed by police, the paper reported, citing villagers.
Villagers refused to vote at a scheduled re-election in April, as Qian was still being detained after his last attempt for compensation, the paper added.
"I can do nothing but expose online how some local officials are taking advantage of land acquisitions," a Web user who identified himself as Qian said in a post in June at tianya.com, according to the report.
Another post on the portal using the same online identity claimed in August that Qian's predecessors were forced to sign a land-acquisition contract with Yueqing city authorities. But this could not be verified.
"The land-acquisition contract was secretly signed by the plant, the land and resources department, and the previous village committee without consulting us or holding a villagers meeting," a 40-year-old villager surnamed Qin told the Global Times Monday, insisting that the contract was illicit.
"It's hard to believe it's an accident. Qian Wei, a witness of the accident, was taken away by unidentified personnel at midnight Sunday," a 57-year-old villager surnamed Wu, who refused to give his full name, told the Global Times by phone Monday.
He also said local officials warned villagers against talking to reporters after the death of Qian.
However, Li Yunfang, a reporter from the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post, said his interviews in the village Monday were not interrupted or challenged.
"No people followed me, nor supervised or prevented me. The villagers seemed angry and spoke freely," Li told the Global Times.
(New York Times) Suspicious Death Ignites Fury in China Xiyun Yang and Edward Wong December 29, 2010.
A man lies on a road with his eyes closed, blood streaming from his half-open mouth, his torso completely crushed under the large tire of a red truck. One arm reaches out from beneath the tire. His shoulder is a bloody pile of flesh. His head is no longer attached to the flattened spinal cord.
The man in the photograph, Qian Yunhui, 53, has become the latest Internet sensation in China, as thousands of people viewing the image online since the weekend have accused government officials of gruesomely killing Mr. Qian to silence his six-year campaign to protect fellow villagers in a land dispute. Illegal land seizures by officials are common in China, but the horrific photographs of Mr. Qian’s death on Saturday have ignited widespread fury, forcing local officials to offer explanations in a news conference.
It is the latest in a string of cases in which anger against the government has been fanned by the lightning-fast spread of information online. In late October, the son of a deputy police chief in central China drunkenly drove his car into two college students, killing one and injuring another. His parting phrase as he drove away from the scene of the crime — “Sue me if you dare, my father is Li Gang!” — has since become a byword for official corruption and nepotism.
Officials in the city of Yueqing in Zhejiang Province, which supervises Mr. Qian’s home village, insist that the photographs show nothing more than an unfortunate traffic accident. They made their case in a hastily arranged news conference on Monday afternoon, as the images of Mr. Qian’s death continued proliferating on the Internet. Mr. Qian’s family, some Chinese reporters and residents of Zhaiqiao Village cite the photographs as proof of foul play and a sloppy cover-up.
It is unclear who took the photographs, but they first appeared Sunday afternoon on Tianya, a popular online forum for discussing Chinese social issues.
Within 36 hours, the initial post attracted nearly 20,000 comments. It has since been deleted. Tianya and two other Web sites that reported on the case together got 400,000 hits, according to Xinhua, the state news agency. The Chinese government goes to great lengths to block servers here from accessing information it deems harmful to political stability, but censors have apparently failed to keep up with the proliferation of blog posts related to Mr. Qian. Once the information had spread, higher authorities apparently found it necessary to show the public they were looking into the matter — officials from the nearby city of Wenzhou ordered police officers from there to go to Yueqing to assist the investigation, Xinhua reported.
Chinese Internet users were drawn not only to the gruesome images, but also to the fact that the land dispute involving Mr. Qian is a common narrative in China.
In 2004, the city government approved construction of a power plant in Zhaiqiao Village. The company building the plant got virtually all the arable land in the village, and the 4,000 or so villagers received no compensation, according to a blog post on Tianya that was written four months ago under Mr. Qian’s name. At the time, Mr. Qian and other villagers went to government offices to protest the land grab, and riot police officers beat more than 130 people and arrested 72, the post said.
Mr. Qian, the former Communist Party representative in the village, traveled to Beijing to file a petition with the central authorities. In the news conference on Monday, city officials said that Mr. Qian had been arrested, found guilty of criminal conduct and imprisoned at least twice. Mr. Qian continued his crusade after recently being released from prison. Before his death, he was the overwhelming favorite of the villagers in a coming election for village chief, according to local media reports.
Around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Mr. Qian received a call on his cellphone and walked out as he was talking, according to a report by Chinese Business News that cited Mr. Qian’s wife, Wang Zhaoyan.
An hour later, he was run over by the red truck, his body crushed beneath the left front tire. The driver, Fei Liangyu, has been detained, according to a statement on the Yueqing city government Web site.
Chinese news reports said another villager, Qian Chengwei, told people that he had watched as the victim was held down in the road by several men wearing security uniforms. One of the men waved his hand, and a truck then drove slowly over Mr. Qian, the reports said. Villagers arriving at the scene were immediately suspicious. They refused to allow the police to remove Mr. Qian’s body, and a scuffle ensued.
The witness and the victim’s family members were detained, according to Southern Daily, a newspaper based in Guangdong Province. Government officials told the newspaper that the witness was a drug user.
Local news organizations reported Tuesday that Mr. Qian’s family members have been released. Phone calls to Mr. Qian’s home were not answered.
Internet users and Chinese reporters have continued to question the explanation by city officials, pointing to discrepancies revealed by the photos. Why does the front of the truck show little sign of impact or blood? Why, if Mr. Qian had been accidentally hit while walking upright, is his body lying completely perpendicular to the truck’s tire? Why was a brand-new security camera at the intersection where Mr. Qian killed not working on Saturday? Who called Mr. Qian on that fateful morning?
“A few years ago, there were other people petitioning with my dad,” one family member, Qian Shuangping, told China Business Daily. “Some of them were bought off. Some of them got scared. We said: ‘Just take some money and forget it. What if something happens to you?’ My father wouldn’t listen to us.”
(Southern Metropolis Daily) December 29, 2010.
According to information provided by the Yueqing government, Zhaiqiao village is relatively affluent. The calm was disrupted by a Zhejiang Energy project inside Nanyue town and Puqi town. The total investment for that project for four electricity generators is 10.8 billion RMB.
According to the director of the Yueqing Land Requisition Affairs Office, the project needed 41 hectares of land in four villages of Nanyue town and Zhaiqiao village in Puqi town. The process went smoothly in the four Nanyue villagers, but it ran into obstacles in Zhaiqiao village. Based upon the standardized compensation scheme in Yueqing city, this was Class 4 hilly land and should be compensated at 32,000 RMB/mu. However, the land was re-classified as Class 2 so that it could be compensated at the higher rate of 48,000 RMB/mu. There were 213 mu of land involved in Zhaiqiao village, so that the total compensation was 10,260,000 RMB.
On October 27, 2003, the Zhaiqiao village representatives held a meeting to gather opinions. Due to certain villagers demanding higher compensation, no accord was reached. In February 2004, the Yueqing city government sent out a 51-person work group to speak to the villagers. On April 8, 2004, an accord was reached among the eight members of the village committee and the Puqi town government/Zhejiang Energy. The total amount of compensation was 38,000,000 RMB.
According to the director of the Yueqing Land Requisitions Affairs Office, they only footed 10,260,000 RMB of the amount. The Puzi town government allocated 7,060,000 RMB in "administrative policy fees," Zhejiang Energy paid 11,130,000 RMB in renting 297 mu of land and the electricity generator plant paid another 9,530,000 RMB in compensation.
But some villagers would not accept either the 10,260,000 RMB or 38,000,000 RMB. Instead they demanded 1.894 billion RMB in compensation.
The Yueqing authorities say that the 38,000,000 RMB was the maximum possible amount. So far, the village cadres say that the Yueqing Land Relocations Affairs Office have put 10,260,000 RMB into the villagers' joint account, but the other money has not shown up yet. But the director of the Yueqing Land Requisitions Affairs Office said the money is sitting in special accounts set up for this purpose by the Puqi town government and Zhejiang Energy. However, since some villagers still reject the compensation scheme and village director Qian Yunhui and others are refusing to accept the deal, the money has been sitting there.
Although there was a vast gap between the two sides, an accord was ultimately signed. Some villagers do not accept the signing, because they said that the village committee was forced to sign in a hotel. The villagers became disappointed in the village committee members. In the April 2005 elections, the original village committee was ousted and Qian Yunhui was voted village director with more than 90% of the votes.
On April 25, 2004, Qian Yunhui went to petition at the Yueqing government. On his way back, he was arrested. His father asked the villagers to protect him. This led to the bloody 4.28 incident. According to the Yueqing government: On April 9, the Yueqing State Land Department signed an accord with Zhaiqiao village. On April 11, a small number of villagers assaulted village cadres and put them under house arrest. On April 28, more than 200 villagers laid siege and blockaded the Yueqing town government building. The police dispersed the troublemakers and removed 41 of them away from the scene by force.
As a result, 3 villagers were sentenced to five years in prison for disturbing public order and assaulting a state office. Qian Yunhui was arrested while on his own and was sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison for assembling a crowd to disturb public order. The sentences were appealed and the four were eventually given suspended 18 month prison terms. The suspended sentences meant that the four could walk out of prison immediately. But by then, they had been in prison for 11 months already.
About a month later, another village committee election was held. Qian Yunhui was re-elected with the highest number of votes again. Qian Yunhui acknowledged that he was elected to solve the "big case" (namely, the land compensation).
After the election, Qian Yunhui and his village committee went to petition at Yueqing city, Wenzhou city and Zhejiang province. All three petition offices told him that the requisition process was proper and the compensation has been made. The director of the Yueqing Land Requisition Affairs Office said that before this incident, Qian Yunhui had sought him out at a Puqi town meeting and he told Qian that the case was closed.
On May 8, 2006, Qian Yunhui was in a village committee meeting when the police came and took away for violating the terms of his probation. Qian ended up serving the remaining 7 months of his prison term.
Meanwhile the village committee found that they lack the money to do these petitions. Since the village had certain collective land, the village committee sold some of the land for 700,000 yuan. The money was spent by Qian Yunhui and another village committee member, mainly to cover the expenses of the trips to Beijing. The two were arrested for illegal land sale. By that time, there was 140,000 yuan left. According to the villagers, this action had been discussed in village committee meetings. (However, the town government was not informed.)
Qian Yunhui was sentenced to 2 years in prison. He got out of prison in July this year.
Another village committee election was due to be held in March/April next year. Qian Yunhui was confident that he would be elected again.
But he has just been run over by a construction truck.
(Southern Daily) December 29, 2010.
Yesterday evening, a self-proclaimed eyewitness emerged -- Li Haiyan from the neighboring Xinyi village.
Li Haiyan delivered her narrative using exaggerated gestures and a quivering voice. Here is her description: At around 9am on December 24, she went to buy lottery tickets at a Puqi town temple. She happened to come across the entrance to Zhaiqiao village. She spotted Qian Yunhui and a white Santana vehicle parked by the roadside.
Previously, a villager claimed to have seen Qian Yunhui walking to the highway in front of the village entrance holding an umbrella in his hand. He was also on the telephone before that. "Three men, wearing white gloves and black surgical masks. Two of them twisted Qian's arms behind him while the third grabbed his neck."
Li Haiyan claimed that Qian Yunhui seemed to be semi-conscious because his neck was in someone else's grasp. She went up to ask them to stop, but got shoved aside. So she walked away slowly. When she turned back to look, "a truck which had been parked five or six meters away was coming up slowly. The three men forced Qian down by propelling his arms forward and stuck his neck underneath the wheel.
[ESWN comment: The head of Qin Yunhui was under the wheel while his body was under the truck. How did the three men put Qian there? They would have to crawl underneath the truck! It would be more plausible to say that the men had rendered Qian unconscious on the ground for the truck to roll him over, but that is not what Li Haiyan is claiming.]
(China News) December 29, 2010.
Our reporter read the following from the police activity log.
At 9:46am, the Yueqing police 110 command center received a report that a construction truck had run over a person in Zhaiqiao village, Puqi town. The person was severely injured, possibly even dead. The command center immediately ordered the Hongqiao Traffic Police Division and the Puzi Border Patrol to proceed to the scene. An ambulance was also dispatched to the scene.
At 9:53pm, two police officres from the Hongqiao Traffic Police Division and nine police officers from the Puqi police station arrived at the scene.
During the police investigation, someone falsely claimed that the driver had been released by the Puqi Border Patrol officers. Someone else falsely claimed that the Border Patrol intern Lu Yuexie was the driver. This caused the crowd to surround Lu and hauled him into the village. Lu struggled his way and raced into the fields. Villagers gave chased, caught him and dragged back to the Zhaiqiao village committee office.
During the process, Lu was assaulted by a number of villagers and received multiple injuries. Another police officer also suffered injuries after being attacked by villagers.
After that, the family of the deceased set up a mourning hall at the scene, erected road blocks and impeded the police investigation.
When the Yueqing public security bureau was informed of these situations, they sent in reinforcements who arrived around noon in Puqitown. Captain Hou Jinhai and four plainclothes policemen went to the scene to find out what was going on. At 12:57pm, Hou basically knew what was happened and got ready to leave. A villager yelled: "You are the public security brigade captain. You can't leave. You must give an explanation first." A man on the side heard that call and immediately attacked Hou Jinhai. Other villagers also joined in. As a result, three police officers sustained injuries. In particular, Hou Jintai suffered injuries to his ribs, brows and nose.
The Puqi Border Patrol informed the Yueqing public security bureau about these developments. Special police reinforcements were sent in. By 5pm, the villagers had dispersed and the investigation was concluded. The body of the ceased Qin Yunhui was taken to the local funeral parlor. The body will not be examined or cremated without the consent of the family.
(Global Times) Village head's death sparks Internet rumors December 29, 2010.
Qian Yunhui, the 53-year-old director of Zhaiqiao Village, Leqing, Zhejiang Province, died after being hit by a truck. Villagers whispered, "Our director was lifted and thrown in front of the truck by four men." Posts quickly emerged on the Internet with titles like "Biggest injustice in the history of Zhaiqiao, Leqing."
By contrast, news Web portals summed up Qian's death in a few stark sentences: "In Puqi Town, Leqing, a traffic accident occurred, one person died."
Who knows whether this was an accident or not? Some people say "a virtuous village director was assassinated in cold blood" while others claim "this is merely a traffic accident which malevolent people link to Qian's petition work." Which is true? Who can we trust?
The public wants to know what happened in Zhaiqiao Village but the local government has been slow to respond.
Of course this incident is suspicious: The truck was going the wrong way, the camera at the intersection failed to record the incident, and the body was at right angles to the curb.
Before he died on the roadside on a winter's night, Qian had "spent 6 years petitioning on behalf of fellow villagers in Zhaiqiao for adequate farmland compensation."
As one netizen wrote, "I have to post the truth so the public can understand and so that people's rights will be better protected in the future."
The truth must not be hidden. Was this death intentional? Was Qian Yunhui "thrown under the wheels of a truck because he kept on making petitions?"
These questions must be answered. The local Leqing government must withdraw and an independent third party be appointed to carry out the investigation.
Rumors and anger will not be dispelled until the truth is brought to light.
(China News) December 30, 2010.
Late evening on December 29, a press conference was called. The Wenzhou city public security bureau traffic police deputy director/senior engineer Nan Hanli said that the two so-called eyewitnesses of the murder of Qian Yunhui.
Previously, the Internet was rife with rumors that Qian Yunhui was held down by several men so that the construct truck could crush him. These dramatic depictions were all said to be based upon eyewitness accounts.
The Wenzhou police investigators established that none of these eyewitnesses only saw the scene but did not actually see any murderous act.
Nan Hanli said that it was raining that day and therefore very few people were on the road. At the time when the incident took place, there were only two eyewitnesses: a security guard named Zheng and the villager Qian Chengyu. Both said that the truck ran over Qian Yunhui and then a man got out of the truck. Because of their vision angle, neither noticed that there was another person on the truck. Afterwards, several other witnesses confirmed that nobody else was at the scene. "They said so to the police, and they also said that they never spread any rumors about any murder to the outside." Nan Hanli said.
In order to avoid a situation where these eyewitnesses told the police one story but another story to the outside world, the police administered lie detection tests. "The results showed that they did not witness any murder." Nan Hanli said.
The Wenzhou city public security bureau crime investigation division deputy director/senior engineer Chen Xing said that the expert investigators determined that the left bumper of the truck hit the left side of the body of the deceased who fell with the right side of his body hitting the ground. The truck braked but continued to skid for a distance. The deceased was killed when the left wheel of the truck crushed his neck/chest.
"The many circumstances showed that Qian Yunhui was not murdered. This was a traffic incident." Wenzhou public security bureau executive vice-director Shen Qiang said.
Previously the media had mentioned an eyewitness named Huang. Nan Hanli said that Huang is a resident of Lincun village inside Zhaiqao village. She was not present at the scene when the incident took place. Afterwards, she heard about the incident and went down to the scene to see what was going on. At the time, people were saying that Qian Yunhui had been murdered. "Someone told Huang that there are many reporters around -- if you say that Qian Yunhui was murdered and you give a good account, they may pay you." Nan Hanli said that Huang began spreading rumors. "The next day, the daughter of the deceased went to see her and told her to keep talking. Huang discussed the matter with her husband and decided to continue to spread the rumor."
Later Huang's husband told the police that Huang was not an eyewitness and was only spreading a rumor. Huang also admitted to the police that this was the case.
The police also made Huang go through a lie detection test. The results showed that Huang was not an eyewitness.
(Chuncheng Wanbao) December 29, 2010.
Many Zhaiqiao villagers confirmed to the reporter that after the incident, villagers Qian Chengyu told them that witnessed four men in black uniform held Qian Yunhui down on the ground until the construction truck came and rushed him. At noon on December 28, this reporter found a relative of Qian Chengyu. She confirmed this too.
Another eyewitness is Wu Minglei (pseudonym) who witnessed the scene from a private bus. "My passengers also saw it."
"At first Qian Chengyu thought that they were only horsing around." Qian Chengyu's relayed what Qian Chengyu said. The four persons held Qian Yunhui down. "Another person waved a construction truck to come over. The person held down on the ground was screaming for help. The truck crushed him." As for the five persons, Qian Chengyu said that they wore black uniforms with the words Special Weapons and Tactical Police.
Qian Chengyu's relative said that Qian Chengyu was arrested around 4pm the next day. "By that time he got scared and went over to his sister's place."
THe Yueqing police said that six villagers including Qian Chengyu were arrested for troublemaking.
CCTV interviews two "eyewitnesses"
(Legal Daily) December 30, 2010.
The Legal Daily reporter was able to obtain permission to conduct interviews in Yueqing alongside CCTV reporters.
First was the Wenzhou city public security bureau chief Ye Hanbing. He told our reporter that the police investigation showed that this was a traffic incident and that there was no chance that this was a murder case.
"The public security bureau does not have any interest in making this case into either a traffic incident or a murder. The duty of the public security bureau is to get to the truth of the matter and punish all illegal acts." Ye Hanbing said that the investigators split up into two separate teams, one going on the assumption that this was a traffic incident and the going on the assumption that this was a murder case. After a meticulous investigation, they have concrete evidence that this was a traffic incident and not a murder.
According to Wenzhou public security bureau executive vice-director Shen Qiang who headed the investigation, on the morning of December 25, 2010, Fei Liangyu drove the truck with license plate K5B323 carrying stone from the Hongqiao Wandi village to the Lingang Development Landfill Zone. At 9:45am, the truck passed by the Zhaiqiao section of the Hongnan Highway in Puqi town. The pedestrian Qian Yunhui crossed the street from the right hand side of the truck to its left hand side. Fei Liangyu was unable to brake the truck in time, and the left side of the truck knocked Qian Yunhui down on the ground and the left wheel crushed his neck/chest. Qian Yunhui died immediately. The investigation showed that the truck was licensed to carry 12.405 tons but it was actually carrying 35.020 tons. It was therefore carrying 282% of allowable capacity.
Shen Qiang said that there were three major grounds for eliminating the murder scenario:
First, the police scrutinized the truthfulness of the suspect's testimony, any connection between Fei Liangyu and Qian Yunhui, any likelihood that he could have carried out the job for other persons, his lifestyle, his employment condition, his social ties, etc. There is no indication that Fei Lianghu did this deliberately. Secondly, the police examined the scene carefully and interviewed all the witnesses carefully. They interviewed the eyewitness Qiang Chengyu and the other eyewitness Huang Diyan who was presented by netizens. They determined that no one witnessed any murder directly. Thirdly, the evidence of the scene included clear signs of skid marks, signs that the body was dragged on the ground and signs of impact between man and truck. These signs are inconsistent with the assumption that the victim was held down on the ground for the truck to roll over him.
The police thought that there were four major grounds for supporting the traffic incident scenario:
First, the suspect Fei Liangyu said that he was unable to brake in time when a pedestrian crossed in front of him. This was consistent with the testimony of the passenger Huang Biao. Secondly, the four eyewitnesses did not notice any other suspicious persons at the scene. Thirdly, the impact marks on the truck and the skid marks on the road are consistent with a traffic incident. Fourthly, there are no other suspicious evidence. In the end, the police determined that Fei Liangyu drove a severely overloaded truck without a driver's license and failed to brake in time when a pedestrian crossed in front of him. As such, Fei Liangyu bore primary responsibility in this incident; the pedestrian Fei Liangyu bore secondary responsibility for failing to verify that it was safe to cross.
Shen Qiang said that the preceding conclusions were based upon the testimony of the suspect, the testimonies of the eyewitnesses, the 110 police log, forensic investigation, vehicle inspection, telephone call records, etc.
As for that final telephone call that Qian Yunhui took before he died, the police said that the call was made by a villager named Wang who wanted to speak to him about some village affairs.
Yesterday afternoon at the Yueqing city detention center, Fei Liangyu told our reporter what happened that morning. He said that he does not know Qian Yunhui, he was not instructed by anyone to murder Qian and it was just an accident.
On the morning of December 25, Fei Liangyu was driving the eight-wheeler construction truck with license plate K5B323 toward the Yueqing Lingang District. The vehicle was traveling on the normal right hand side of the road until it arrived at the scene of the incident. Because the right side of the road was blocked, he moved into the left lane. "I was not going fast at the time. About 40 kilometers per hour." At that moment, a pedestrian showed up from the right and walked leftwards. He braked immediately. The pedestrian even glanced at him. But the road was slippery due to the rain and the truck was hauling more than 20 tons of stone, he could not brake in time.
Fei Liangyu said that he got out of the truck and immediately called 110. He wanted to call 120 too, but he saw that the man was already dead so he did not. Within minutes, villagers arrived. At that time, someone reminded him that he better flee because the villagers will beat him to death. So he left quietly. He walked for several tens of meters and the villagers and the police were clashing already. Fei Liangyu saw a traffic policeman and identified himself as the car owner. The traffic policeman took him back to the traffic police office.
Fei Liangyu said that the driver Huang Biao was sitting in the passenger seat. "The driver hadn't had breakfast yet and he wanted to eat breakfast somewhere along the way. So I drove the truck for a wile." The reporter asked him why he drove when he knew that he did not have a license. Fei Liangyu said that he had already passed the driver's test but the documentation hasn't been issued yet. Afterwards, the driver Huang Biao told the police falsely that he was driving at the time. For this false testimony, Huang Biao has been sentenced to ten days of administrative detention.
At the Yueqing detention center, Huang Biao told our reporter that he came from the same village as Fei Liangyu and he has more than a decade of experience in driving. On December 2, he left his hometown to come and drive for Fei Liangyu. He receives a monthly salary of 3,000 RMB including room and board. He does not know Qian Yunhui either. At the time of the incident, he was in the passenger seat and he saw someone crossing the street. He told Fei Liangyu to pay attention. He said, "Fei Liangyu sounded the horn and slowed down to the left. He thought that he could avoid hitting the pedestrian. But the pedestrian also moved to the left. By the time he braked, it was too late."
The villager Qian Chengyu was born in 1965. He had previously done prison time for drug abuse and drug sales. His wife divorced him a long time ago.
Qian Chengyu told the reporter: "Our village director is a good man. I would give my life in place of his!" Qian Chengyu recalled that he had just stepped out of his mother's home when he saw someone knocked down by a truck. "I hurried over and saw that it was the village director. My mind went blank. Then I screamed, 'Heavens! The village director has been crushed to death!'"
The reporter asked, "According to the Internet, you witnessed four men dressed in black uniform holding Qian Yunhui down for the construction truck to come over and crush him." When Qian Chengyu heard that, he quickly waved his han: "A life is important. You cannot say these types of things without cause. I never said that, and I didn't see anything like that." But then Qian Cheungyu told the reporter, "I think that there is an 80% chance that this was a murder and only a 0.4% or 0.5% that it was a traffic incident." The reporter asked him why. Qian Chengyu said that Qian Yunhui was villager director for six years, of which 4-1/2 years were spent in jail. "The wife of our former village director drove a Mercedes-Benz and the former village director drove a BMW. If Qian Yunhui wanted to money, he get 5 or 6 million RMB just by putting a stamp of approval on some document. Instead, he smoked cheap cigarettes. Why? Because he wanted to save money for us villagers."
Qian Chengyu got more and more excited as he talked. "The government wanted to requisition our land and we didn't agree. The village director led the opposition. The village director was murdered because of this."
The reporter asked, "Do you have any proof?"
Qian Chengyu said, "The vehicle was traveling on the left lane and it didn't brake for a pedestrian. Isn't that enough? This is 100% murder for sure." After saying that, he shifted gears and regarded the reporter with alarm: "Are you really CCTV reporters? You give me a written statement to that effect!"
Then he got excited again and pointed his finger at the reporters: "You are evil-hearted. You killed this good village director!"
Apart from Qian Chengyu, another so-called eyewitness Huang Diyan emerged today.
Huang Diyan is a resident of Huayi village. Yesterday, she told the media reporters: At the time of the incident, she happened to be passing by. She saw three men who wore surgical masks and white gloves. They wore a denim jacket, a white jacket and a green jacket respectively. They held an old man down on the ground. Then a construction truck which had been parked on the roadside drove down the wrong lane. The three men shoved Qian Yunhui underneath the truck. Then the truck driver, the passenger and the three murderers went into a van parked by the roadside and left the scene.
Yesterday afternoon, our reporter met with this "eyewitness" Huang Diyan. She appeared to be glazed, she did not speak putonghua and her words tend to be incoherent. After some effort, the reporter pieced together how it happened. On the day of December 25, Huang Diyan went back after praying at the nunnery. She saw a large crowd at the scene. She moved up and asked what happened. Someone told her that the Zhaiqiao villager director had been held down by several men and tossed underneath a truck. Afterwards she went home. Several days later some people from Zhaiqiao village came over to see him. They said that the government is investigating the case. So if she told the government investigators that she witnessed how the village director was murdered, the gods will bless her daughter as well as give money to her family.
Yesterday afternoon, someone brought over the "government people" to hear her out. Later on, it would turn out those were reporters. Huang Diyan has no idea what reporters do. Our reporter asked Huang Diyan whether she saw three men wearing surgical masks, white gloves and denim/white/green jackets shove Qian Yunhui underneath the truck? "I didn't see it. The people from Zhaiqiao village told me to say that." Huang Diyan said looking innocent, "I said that because the ghosts must have gotten to me at the nunnery."
During the interview, Huang Diyan's husband Wang Shigao kept sighing on the side. He said that their 29-year-old daughter is a mental patient; his wife has nasal cancer and not quite right in the head; he himself has hypertension and diabetes. They reply on government insurance to get by. With three sick people in the family, his wife is now causing trouble outside.
The reporter asked Huang Diyan about her age. She looked befuddled and thought for a long time: "I don't know. But I was born in the year of the pig."
"53 years old." Wang Shigao said. He is 60 years old and his wife is 53 years old. Huang Diyan never attended school. When she got married, she was already not right in the head. She is very superstitious and believes in both the western God and Buddhism.
Wang Shigao told the Legal Daily reporter that he was playing poker with other senior citizens near the village entrance when someone told him that several reporters were interviewing at his home. He went home immediately, kicked his wife cursed out the reporters and chased them away.
"This old lady doesn't even know her own age, and those reporters still interviewed him. This is too much!" Wang was still angry about it.
(Qilu Evening News) December 30, 2010.
On the morning of December 29, our reporter interviewed someone who had spoken to the passenger Huang Biao after the incident. He said that Huang Biao was in the passenger seat at the time of the incident. Huang spotted a man holding an umbrella up cross the street from right o left. Huang Biao said that the driver Fei Liangyu sounded the horn but the pedestrian did not seem to have heard. After hitting the person, Huang did not get out the truck on his side. Instead, he got out of the truck on the passenger side. Huang Biao also did the same.
After Huang Biao got out, he saw the deceased pedestrian. According to Huang Biao, he did not see anyone else at the scene. This account is clearly inconsistent accounts either of Qian Yunhui being thrusted underneath the truck by a group of people or the presence of eyewitnesses cited in the media reports. At this time, Huang Biao play-acted. He put his mobile phone close to his ear as if he was making a telephone call as he walked towards the back of the houses. He hid behind the houses for a while, before he hitched a ride back to the reclamation zone.
On the way back, Huang Biao got a call from Fei Liangyu. On the telephone, Fei told Huang that he did not have a driver's license and therefore the insurance company won't pay. Fei asked Huang to admit to be the driver and accept all legal responsibility. In return, Fei promised Huang that he will pay to make sure that Huang gets a new license. In Fei's view, Huang Biao would at most lose his current license and pay compensation. Fei Liangyu also returned to the reclamation zone and met Huang Biao. The two surrendered themselves at the traffic police officer. At first, Huang Biao claimed that he was driving the construction truck. Later, Huang Biao admitted his lie and said that Fei Liangyu was driving at the time.
Yueqing incident video
(Southern Weekend) Interview with Huang Xiaozhong, Wenzhou City Public Security Bureau Spokesperson On The Qian Yunhui Case. December 30, 2010.
Q: There were media reports today that there is another eyewitness named Huang besides Qian Chengyu. Are you aware of that?
A: Based upon our canvassing, there was no such person. People did not say that she was there. An eyewitness must be present at the scene at the time, or else she wouldn't be an eyewitness. We did not find the person that you just mentioned. We welcome you to provide that interview record to us. At the same time, I tell you that if you are willing, I will immediately dispatch investigators with you to learn more about this. Our investigation of this incident is done under total transparency. We did not establish any framework beforehand. Any clue which can be verified will become part of the evidence in the case.
Q: Has the police contacted this person yet?
A: Not so far. If you are willing -- and you may not be willing -- I will immediately send investigators to investigate in your presence.
Q: What are the first eyewitness Qian Chengyu?
A: Qian Chengyu was really there at the time of the incident. Or perhaps we should say around the time.
Q: Before or after the incident?
A: Because of where he stood, he could not have been in front of the truck to observe the collision. But he was one of the earliest persons to arrive at the scene.
Q: So he was not an eyewitness? If it was a traffic incident, it happened in a flash. If it was murder, it would take up some time to occur.
A: He may not have directly seen the moment of the collision. But he was one of the earlier eyewitnesses about how the truck drove over and hit someone.
Q: Why has Qian Chengyu been detained? Some people say that he was being held as a witness.
A: No. We handled the case following standard traffic police procedure. During our examination of the scene, some people tried to obstruct us. During the obstruction, some people assaulted the police. Qian Chengyu participated in the attacks.
Q: How does Qian describe the incident?
A: On the Internet, it was said that Qian Yunhui was held down on the ground by four persons for the truck to roll over. This story was sourced to Qian Yunhui. But Qian Yunhui said that he never said that. To assess the truthfulness -- for example, maybe he said it before but changed his story after being detained -- we administer a lie detector test. The results show that he was not lying.
Q: If it really was just a traffic incident, then how did the "murder" story come out? How did this happen?
A: This involves many issues that we are still tracking down. If someone deliberately manufactured these rumors to such effect, we intend to pursue them in accordance with the law. We have certain clues. When the conditions are ripe, we intend to process those who deliberately manufactured these rumors. We must get to the source and find out who said it first. Qian Chengyu is completely denying it now. He even sounded angry when he asked us: "Manufacturing rumors can lead to jail, so why would I manufacture rumors? Clearly I did not witness that!" We ran a lie detector test on his testimony, and it is 99.9% certain that he told the truth.
Q: How did the police eliminate the possibility of murder so quickly?
A: This was the scene of a traffic incident. In order to classify this as a murder case, there needs to be supporting evidence. In other murder cases (such as by stabbing), the case is classified first as a murder case and then the possibility of suicide is eliminated -- either the person killed himself or he was killed by someone else. This was the scene of a traffic incident. If you want to classify it as murder, there must be evidence to support the murder theory. But we were unable to find any evidence of murder.
Q: There are two possible explanations for a traffic collision: it could be either a traffic accident or else the vehicle was deliberately used as a murder tool.
A: There is no reasonable doubt. If we want to classify a traffic incident into a murder case, we need to have supporting evidence of murder. There are three different types of evidence of murder. First of all, there must be eyewitnesses and this is crucial. Secondly, murdering someone by running him over with a vehicle is unlikely to succeed. You ram someone with your car and that person happens to be your enemy. How come you happen to be there with your enemy right in front of you? The probability of both of you showing in the same spot at the same time is low. Thirdly, if there are no eyewitnesses in a traffic incident, then we have to use other ways to investigate. For example, what is the motive of the driver? I wouldn't run someone over without cause (unless I am crazy). All criminals have motives. As we said yesterday, we compared the testimony of the driver to see his motives are consistent with the scene. When the driver saw the pedestrian, did he act normally? That is to say, a normal driver would avoid a pedestrian but his evasive action actually caused him to hit the pedestrian. We collected a vast amount of information from the scene, including the point of collision, the scrape mark, etc. From the height of the collision point, we can determine whether the person was lying on the ground beforehand or else standing when the collision occurred. We have released the photos. Some Internet users say that those photos are unconvincing. That only shows their lack of scientific knowledge.
Q: This incident occurred a while ago. Could someone us using some underhand trick?
A: We can have reasonable doubts, but we cannot doubt everything. Doubting everything won't prove that you are thoughtful and knowledgeable. It only shows that you speculate too much.
Q: It was said that the driver fled the scene. This detail may be consistent with a murder case -- he intentionally killed him and then fled.
A: People frequently leave the scene of a traffic incident.
Q: What was the specifics for this driver?
A: He reported the matter to the public security bureau later on. He said that he fled the scene because he was afraid that the family (of the victim) would hurt him.
Q: When and how did he turn himself in?
A: He called after he left the scene. He did not make an in-person report.
Q: You just said that he fled because he was concerned about his personal safety.
A: Yes. We ran a lie detector test on the testimony of the driver. There was no problem.
Q: According to the information provided by the police yesterday, the driver had no motive or indication. Can you explain what that means?
A: If this was intentional murder, there must be a motive. The driver and the victim do not know each other and have no conflict. At the same time, the two drivers have only begun transporting material here for just over a month. Before September/October, they were not in this area. They were recent arrivals from out of twon. They don't have any economic ties with either the construction site or the victim. There were no quarrels or any other conflict. So why did he murder the victim?
Q: Another possibility is that he was hired to carry out the murder?
A: You need evidence to prove that he was a hired murderer. As a normal-thinking adult, he has plenty of other means to kill the man. Why did he choose to do it this way? He was driving a big construction truck in bright daylight and showing his license plate. There were two persons in the truck too. This is clearly illogical.
Q: Can the testimonies of the driver and Qian Chengyu be released now?
A: Not yet. Parts of their testimonies are still being checked. They will definitely be released in the near future.
Q: What stage has the investigation reached?
A: We are working hard. We want to do everything possible to resolve all the unexplained issues.
Q: Can you explain what methods are being used?
A: We are doing everything possible. For this important case, we are using all possible resources based upon current science and technology.
Q: Is the lie detector test one of those methods?
A: Every method that we use can be revealed. We have various means but we only have one goal. We want this case to be thoroughly investigated and be able to stand the test of history. This is what we usually called an ironclad case.
Q: Did the Wenzhou city public security bureau conduct the lie detector tests, or was it done before they got involved in the case?
A: Most of the work was done after the Wenzhou city work group was formed.
Q: When was the Wenzhou city work group formed?
A: On the evening of the day before yesterday.
Q: Was all this work accomplished in one day?
A: Therefore when you asked me about the progress so far, I said that things are still happening. This means that some things haven't been finished yet. I should add one point: the other media have interviewed the four persons that Qian Chengyu was talking about. I recommend that you interview them too.
Q: These are the people that the eyewitness said held Qian Yunhui down on the ground?
A: Yes. Actually, these are four security guards who came to see what was happening. On the Internet, they became the security guards who carried Qian Yunhui over. If they really did that, they would be facing the firing squad.
Q: Someone made a technical analysis and argued that it would be for very difficult for several people to carry a person for a truck to roll over him.
A: As spokesperson, I am not going to analyze this with you. We are only trying to do everything possible to conduct the investigation. But as policeman and an adult person with my own experience in life, I think that this is very illogical. One Internet user said it well: when four men carried the victim over and the vehicle is approaching, aren't they afraid of being killed themselves?
Q: What about Qian Yunhui's phone call with the deputy town mayor before the incident?
A: We have found the answer. Before he left home, his final phone call was with a villager named Wang. We have found Wang and taken down his statement. Wang admitted that he made the call. We have investigated everything that you can suggest and that we can think of. If you can suggest something that we haven't thought of, we will investigate that too. We won't make a subjective determination. If you can bring something up, we will look into it. This is what I mean by doing everything possible to understand everything.
Q: Someone said that the driver was going in the wrong direction at the time. Can you explain that?
A: At the time of the collision, the vehicle was traveling on the wrong side of the road. But the driver was not doing that before. He saw someone in front, he got worried that he wouldn't be able to brake in time and therefore he veered leftwards. But Qian Yunhui also wanted to avoid the vehicle and he sped in the same direction. A collision happened.
Q: According to reports, the police tried to seize the body of Qian Yunhui and the crowd clashed with them. Can you please explain this?
A: I recommend that a serious media outlet should not use the words "seizing the body" so lightly. The public security organization dealt with this traffic incident in accordance with the administrative powers authorized by the state. After completing the examination of the scene, the body was to be examined by the medical doctor and the road was to be open for normal traffic again. Thus, the body had to be transferred to the funeral parlor. An autopsy cannot be conducted in open air because a number of surgical tools need to be applied. During the process, some villagers obstructed us. That is a fact. That is to say, these villagers broke the law. What law says that the villagers have the right to obstruct us? We were enforcing the law.
Q: Does the family have to give consent?
A: This is a traffic incident on a public road. The body was at the scene of the incident. In accordance with the law, we moved the body to a funeral parlor. This is not a case in which the body was inside his own home and we went inside the home to remove it. In the latter case, we ought to have a more humane consideration. But the traffic incident took place on a public road and affects traffic flow. We have to maintain normal social order.
Q: The mourning hall at the scene?
A: Setting up a stall for a mourning hall is stopping traffic flow. In accordance with the law, we stopped it.
Q: The villagers say that two groups of regular and anti-riot police were sent there. The first group had 100 persons, the second group had 1,000 persons.
A: There are fewer than 1,000 persons in the entire Yueqing police force. Where do we get so many police officers?
Q: According to reports, Wenzhou sent police officers over.
A: They didn't.
Q: Was any police officer injured in the process?
A: Police officers were injured. Someone was throwing rocks. Some police officers were injured.
Q: Some villagers said that the police also threw rocks at them.
A: Do the police carry rocks in their hands? If the police have to act, they can use their batons in accordance with the law. The police won't debase themselves. They did not carry rocks.
Q: This incident triggered a series of events. In retrospect, was there a better way to handle the body?
A: If you ignore the interest of the public, there was obviously a better way. But if you place the interest of the public first -- the minority obeys the majority -- then this was the only way. If you let them set up a mourning hall (in the middle of the road), there wouldn't be any clash. But then the road would be blocked.
Q: Our understanding that there was something special about this village where there had been many clashes with the police. Such is the historical background.
A: You shouldn't say clashes with the police.
Q: Some villagers have been arrested and sentenced to prison.
A: This is not a clash with the police. The public security apparatus is only enforcing the law. It has no conflict with the people. In this village, there had been some cases including public disturbances and some people were dealt with. I don't think that it is accurate to use the term 'clash' here.
Q: What do you think caused this traffic incident to have such a vast impact?
A: There are many reasons why this case evolve this way, some macroscopic, some microscopic. The general theme is based upon the macroscopic view of China. Presently urbanization is speeding up, so that certain interests are being adjusted. Some people may be dissatisfied, even linking this traffic incident to the high housing prices in China. Macroscopically, some people want to use this incident to hype things up. Microscopically, this village had seen a lot of its land being requisitioned and there were some unresolved issues. The feelings of the villagers are easier for some people to rouse up. We think that this is a reality that we must face in our public security work in this new era. We can only continue to improve our governance and law enforcement capabilities. It is hard to predict the consequences of every single traffic incident. We can only say that we will deal with each incident based upon the facts.
(CNN) Chinese villager's death sparks national outrage By Steven Jiang. December 30, 2010.
The photograph was unmistakably graphic: a lifeless man under the large tire of a truck -- his eyes shut, mouth half-open with blood streaming out and his head detached from his crushed body.
The circumstances surrounding the death of 53-year-old Qian Yunhui last Saturday in a small town in eastern China, however, almost resemble the plot of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's classic "Rashomon" -- with differing versions of the event and flip-flopping witnesses.
The government initially said Qian died in an ordinary traffic accident and detained the truck driver.
But as shocking images from the scene in Yueqing city began to appear on a popular Chinese online forum Sunday, some posts suggested he was murdered by local officials for advocating villagers' rights in a land dispute. Word quickly spread online and mainstream Chinese news media picked up the story.
Many people were appalled by the gruesome details described by two eyewitnesses. Qian was held down to the ground by three masked men as a heavy truck slowly drove over his neck, the Southern Daily newspaper quoted one of them as saying, adding that police had detained another witness.
Qian's life story also struck a chord with the public. When the Yueqing government in 2004 approved the construction of a power plant in Qian's village, the farmers were tricked into signing their land away for free, according to a report in the 21st Century Economic Herald newspaper.
Qian, then the village chief, led his fellow villagers in protesting the land grab and demanding proper compensation. He was arrested and sentenced to prison twice, but continued the fight after his release -- even traveling to Beijing to petition the central government, the Herald report said.
Amid rising national outrage over the alleged murder of a local hero, authorities in Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province, which oversees Yueqing, launched a criminal investigation Tuesday -- and drew their conclusions less than 48 hours later.
In a late-night press conference Wednesday, officials reiterated that Qian was a victim of a traffic accident, not a murder. Police assigned blame to the inexperienced trucker driving without a license, the severely overloaded vehicle with faulty brakes, the slippery road on a rainy day -- and even Qian himself for not being careful when crossing the road.
"We thoroughly investigated the life and work as well as social connections of the suspect (driver), and eliminated the possibility of him intentionally killing (Qian)," said Shen Qiang, deputy police chief of Wenzhou. "There were obvious skid marks, drag marks of the body and collision marks on the scene, all of which contradicted the scenario of someone being held down and crushed," he added.
State-run China Central Television later aired interviews of the two eyewitnesses, including a man detained for assaulting police. Contrary to earlier reports quoting them, they both denied seeing Qian's brutal murder. "Several men told me if I said these things, they would help me treat my daughter's illness," Huang Diyan told CCTV.
The police conclusions and CCTV interviews have not satisfied many online, however, especially as state censors quietly erased earlier news reports, personal posts and comments on the topic on the Internet.
With mainstream media's independent reporting on Qian's death coming a screeching halt, grassroots activists continue chasing the case, digging up new information on the land dispute or even traveling to Yueqing to talk to villagers.
Wu Gan, a rights activist, has obtained a lengthy police video that showed the chaotic scene after the truck crushed Qian. He posted it online for the public to view and analyze before heading to the village Thursday evening to offer legal assistance to anyone in need.
"I don't prejudge -- I just want to restore the truth," he told CNN. "The way the authorities dealt with this incident was just not open or fair -- they have lost all credibility."
Wu said the Internet provides ordinary Chinese with an outlet to express their anger over injustice resulting from a storyline common in the country -- poor farmers losing land to corrupt officials working with businesses, and then losing even more in failed attempts to petition to higher authorities.
"This death really shows the bottom line of what is intolerable keeps getting lower," he said.
(Global Times) Group looking into disputed death of village chief will not 'challenge police' By Fu Wen. December 31, 2010.
A group of scholars and reporters, who earlier vowed to go to Yueqing, Zhejiang Province, to investigate what many see as the suspicious death of a former village chief, appeared to tone down their comments Thursday, after local police said the case was nothing more than a traffic accident.
Officials from Wenzhou Public Security Bureau, which has jurisdiction over Yueqing, told China Central Television (CCTV) and said at a press conference Wednesday that 53-year-old Qian Yunhui, who petitioned authorities for years over a land acquisition dispute, died in a traffic accident.
Chen Min, a commentator at Guangzhou-based Southern Weekend, set up an "observer team" made up of scholars, lawyers and reporters, which is scheduled to go to Yueqing to learn more about the case in the next few days.
However, Chen told the Global Times that the purpose of the trip is not to question the police and local authorities, but to report what they see and hear through independent observation.
Others who have arrived there also said they do not intend to challenge police findings.
"We are not detectives and we are here only to see if we can help with anything," Wang Xiaoshan, a Beijing-based freelancer who arrived at Yueqing Thursday, told the Global Times.
Zhuang Qinghong, a reporter from Beijing-based China Youth Daily who covered the case in the past few days, said that several reporters began leaving Zhaiqiao village after the police held a press conference Wednesday night.
Still, skeptism over the claims continue. Li Chengpeng, a commentator who had thought of going to Yueqing, gave up his plan. "I don't have to prove a truth that has been arranged by others," Li said in his microblog Thursday. "My intuition tells me that if I go to Yueqing, I will just be helping the police prove they are right."
Here are the Weibo updates from the first civilian team which includes Wang Xiaoshan, Dou Hanzhang and others.
Dou Hanzhang 15:39 12.31.2010 I have arrived in Yueqing. I am discussing the incident with several young reporters.
Dou Hanzhang 15:52 12.31.2010 A reporter posed the question about the death pose of Qian Yunhui. Why wasn't he sent flying upon impact? Another reporter actually used to be on the traffic beat and he said that it was quite common to see people swept underneath a big truck after being hit.
Dou Hanzhang 16:05 12.31.2010 These young reporters are quite familiar with the background of the case. According to them, there has been discontent against the local government over land compensation since 2004. This is the backdrop of the incident. Qian Yunhui worked hard to petition on behalf of the villagers and is greatly esteemed by the villagers.
Dou Hanzhang 16:25 12.30.2010 Young reporters have been under a lot of pressure over the past few days. On one hand, they run into villagers getting down on their knees in front of them to plea for justice when they go into the village. On the other hand, if the evidence that they cite in their articles tend to show that Qian Yunhui died in a traffic incident, they may be criticized by netizens and peers. It is not easy for them. It is not easy to want the truth.
Dou Hanzhang 16:51 12.31.2010 The reporters present here are mostly leaning towards believing that this was a traffic incident. But some are raising doubts. It seems that nobody witnessed the moment of the collision directly except for the truck driver.
Dou Hanzhang 17:24 12.31.2010 But this question was already answered in yesterday's press conference. There were three security guards who saw the traffic incident. They went over to offer help but saw that the victim was already dead. The security guards called the police and then left.
Dou Hanzhang 11:29 12.31.2010 We are on the way to the public security bureau to meet with the local police.
Dou Hanzhang 12:31 12.31.2010 We are at the Yueqing security bureau. Deputy director Lin of the Yueqing public security bureau political department received us. Right now we are watching the video of the truck in the incident leaving from the stone quarry. Later on, we will meet with the security guards who were at the scene of the incident.
Wang Xiaoshan 12:52 12.31.2010 We just finished watching two surveillance videotapes. The truck involved in the incident emerged from the stone quarry at 9:38:00. It passed by the entrance of Huayi village at 9:42:09. The incident took place at 9:45. In the afternoon, we will be traveling down this route.
Wang Xiaoshan 12:59 12.31.2010 We are meeting with eyewitnesses. They are supposed to the security guards who called the police.
Dou Hanzhang 13:07 12.31.2010 Friends, I am at the Yueqing Security Services Company. I am going to do a live broadcast of our conversation with the four security guards who witnessed the incident.
Dou Hanzhang 13:34 12.31.2010 There are six security guards here: Sun, Shi, Zheng, Wu, Cai and Zhang, plus the security guard company's manager Huang. On that day, the security guard had hired 90-100 persons who were in five buses. On that day, electric cables was supposed to be laid. However, since the Zhaiqiao villagers do not want this project to be done, the cable operators hired security guards to patrol the construction area. Since December 21, about 80 to 100 security guards have been on the road near the entrance to the Zhaiqiao village.
Dou Hanzhang 13:46 12.31.2010 Prior to the incident, the security guards had clashed with the villagers. On the morning of December 21, seven or eight villagers came over to the construction site and said, "You cannot do work here." They were advised to leave. There was no physical contact. On December 25, the security guards were all inside the vehicle because it was raining outside. The first eyewitness Zheng had got out of the bus to urinate when he heard a loud braking sound. He turned around and saw someone underneath a truck. Since the manager had told them not to leave the vehicle, Zheng got back inside the car. The location was several dozen meters away from the actual spot of the incident.
Dou Hanzhang 14:03 12.31.2010 When Zhang heard Zheng said that someone was head, he stopped watching the movie and got out of the car. He got to the scene, took a look and saw that someone was dead. There was a tall man at the scene. The two didn't converse. There was no driver in the truck. The door was slightly ajar. Zhang went back into the car. The police bulletin mentioned Zhang. When Cai heard that someone was hit by a truck, he called Sun and Shi. Sun and Shi came to the scene in the car driven by Ma more than a minute later.
Dou Hanzhang 14:32 12.31.2010 Sun and shi got out of the car to see what was going on. The tall man began to call out in the direction of the village. Sun called the police while standing close to the front of the vehicle (Zhang also called the police from the scene). After calling the police, Sun heard someone say "Here they are ... here they are" and then he was assaulted by some villagers. Shi was also assaulted. The security guards in the vehicle rescued the two with their shields. There was a clash. According to Sun and Shi, the villagers used rocks and steel construction pipes to attack them. The security guards withdrew into their vehicles.
Dou Hanzhang 14:37 12.31.2010 Sun and Shi got to the scene. The door on the truck was ajar. Nobody was inside. The engine was still running. Returning to the car, Sun ordered all their vehicles to leave. On the way back, they saw police cars heading towards the scene.
Wang Xiaoshan 15:09 12.31.2010 We are meeting with eyewitnesses. There are six security guards. They are with the security guard company manager named Huang. We are trying to find out what happened.
Wang Xiaoshan 15:18 12.31.2010 We just tested on site. It took 4 minutes 12 seconds to go from the stone quarry to the entrance of Huayi village at a velocity of 42 kilometers/hour.
Wang Xiaoshan 16:44 12.31.2010 Today, the police satisfied two of our demands: to meet with the security guards who arrived at the scene immediately and to watch the surveillance videos at the stone quarry and the entrance to Huayi village. They denied our request to see the photos of the skid marks at the scene.
Wang Xiaoshan 17:16 12.31.2010 We came across many people, including the villagers and security guards. We have not found any evidence to show that this was murder.
Wang Xiaoshan 10:24 1.1.2011 I want to talk about this. It is basically rubbish to talk about independent investigation in China today. An independent investigation means you can go anywhere you want, talk to anyone you want and access any information that you want. This requires support from forces outside the police and the government. For example, the People's Congress can form an independent investigative team because they have that power. Therefore our team of two (me and Dou Hanzhang) are just a low-grade netizen observer team who represent only ourselves.
Wang Xiaoshan 10:37 1.1.2011 Among the various people that we have made contact with (including police officers, government officials, professors, experts, lawyers, villagers, etc), we trust the investigative reporters the most. These people have seen it all. They will not lose their calm and judgment because the crowd was big or the feelings were passionate. They are veterans. Basically, anyone who can be moved to tears by a tragic sight does not deserve to be an investigative reporter.
(Daqi) January 1, 2010.
The first civilian investigative report was issued on the evening of December 31, 2010. This team led by lawyer Peng Jian, lawyer Xu Zhiyong, citizens Liu Sasa, Zhang Yongpan and Xu Jian came to the conclusion that the death of Qian Yunhui was an ordinary traffic incident. This only became a big public story for a variety of complex reasons.
The investigative team tracked down the activities of the so-called first eyewitness Qian Chengyu. They interviewed his mother and sister. "According to the sister, Qian Chengyu told her that evening that he was in front of the truck where he saw several men behind the truck and he also saw the village chief underneath the truck. But at the time, she did not pay much attention to what he said afterwards. Because of this depiction and her subsequent 'inattention,' we felt that Qian Yunhui is possibly not an eyewitness."
Lawyer Peng Jian said that villagers provided them with an audio recording lasting less that two minutes. In the recording, Qian Chengyu told the traffic police immediately after the incident: "I was staying there. Yunhui had already fallen down ... tripped down. I don't know if there was anyone inside the vechile." This was the earliest and most original piece of evidence and it showed that Qian Chengyu really did not say that some persons were pushing Qian Yunhui towards the truck and he did not see multiple persons holding Qian Yunhui down on the ground.
The investigative team also checked to see if the driver Fei Liangyu might have been hired to commit murder as alleged on the Internet.
In the room rented by Fei Liangyu and his wife, the investigative team found out that Fei Liangyu borrowed money three or four months ago to buy the truck and his wife is due to give birth to a child. The investigative team also saw that the rented room had many Buddhist books on the table, "which was consistent with his demeanor during the CCTV interview."
The investigative team combined this with the skid marks on the video recordings and basically concluded that Fei Liangyu was not a hired murderer.
The investigative team also quoted the information from the investigative team which included Wang Xiaoshan.
Wang's team contacted the six security guards who were near the scene of the incident at the time. One of them heard a braking noise, got out of their car and saw the deceased. Also, the police allowed Wang's team to view the video surveillance recordings of the movement of the truck. The truck left the stone quarry several minutes before the incident. The Peng Jian team traveled from the stone quarry, followed the same scene at about 40 kilometers/hour and took about seven minutes to reach the scene of the incident. This is consistent with the video recordings.
At this point, the evidence basically establishes that this was an ordinary traffic incident." The investigative report said.
Based the various pieces of evidence, the investigative reconstructed the basic facts learned from the investigation: At 9:38, the driver Fei Liangyu departed from the Wandicun stone quarry. He arrived at the scene of the incident at around 9:45am. Qian Yunhui received a telephone call around 9:40 and left home with an umbrella in hand. The driver spotted Qian in front of him, braked quickly but still hit Qian Yunhui. The truck dragged the body for several more meters, eventually ending with the wheel on top of him. Qian's mobile phone and cigarette were behind the truck. After the incident, Qian Chengyu approached the car from the front and saw his village chief underneath the wheel. A security guard responsible for guarding electrical cable construction heard the braking sound. Another security guard ignored orders to stay inside the bus got out and came over. He saw someone underneath the wheel and called the police. The security guard captain also called the police. More and more villagers came over.
The investigators also invited villagers to view a video that was taken immediately after the incident.
After listening to the analyses by the villagers, the investigative team came to the basic conclusion: After the incident, the villagers were very sad and angry. Nobody saw it happened but they subjective believed that the village chief must have been murdered. Some people thought so because of the fact that the truck traveled on the wrong side of the road; other people thought so because of the many years of petition and suppression over land compensation.
After the Peng Jian team report came out, many netizens expressed their disappointment.
Peng Jian said that based upon the available testimony and evidence, they have no proof that this was a murder case. Therefore they can only "reluctantly accept that this was a traffic incident." "Although the facts may be cruel, we feel that we have to disclose what we found out." Peng Jian said that many of the rumors were inconsistent with the evidence that they came across.
Meanwhile Wang Xiaoshan told a reporter: "Basically, there were no clear results. There was no conclusive proof that this was a murder case, and there was no obvious proof that this was a traffic incident. Personally speaking, I lean towards the latter."
On the morning of January 1, a local Yueqing person revealed that these independent civilian investigation teams were bought off by the relevant government departments as soon as they arrived. The price was very high. Reportedly, the "celebrities" Peng Jian and Xu Zhiyong got 2 million RMB each, while their lesser known team members got between 300,000 RMB and 1,000,000 RMB each. Apart from the big bribes, the local authorities told these people that if they don't accept the deal, then they and all their family members are "putting their lives at risk." Under these circumstances, these independent civilian investigation teams had to support the police and come up with the investigation team that "there is no evidence to show that this is murder."
According to this source, the case involves graft worth several tens of millions RMB as well as murder. If the truth came out, many government officials would be jailed/executed. Therefore they were willing to do everything possible ... the members of the "civilian investigation teams" have their unspeakable problems, and most of them are greedy for money and/or afraid to die ...
[Note: Previously this writer was sentenced to 10 days of administrative detention for spreading the rumor that the defendant Hu Bin in the Hangzhou car speeding case had been switched. This writer goes around under the status of 'public intellectual.]
(Wufatian's Blog) January 1, 2011.
On the morning of January 26, I saw Zuo Xiao Zuzhou's weibo post about the case of Qian Yunhui. Although I am from Zhejiang, I am not familiar with Yueqing city. But the details of the case shocked me. I read Qian Yunhui's post at the Tianya Forum about land requisitioning (it may have been written by some other person) and I saw the the photos taken by civilians at the scene, the police photos at the scene, the descriptions and videos posted on the Internet, investigative reports by reporters, the evidence found by the civilian investigative teams that traveled to Yueqing as well as the petition documents prepared by Qian Yunhui. By combining these kinds of information, I have come to a preliminary judgment. My analysis does not have any preset assumptions and it does not have any preferred value judgment. I only care about the evidence and the facts.
Before I announce my conclusions, I want to say something. First of all, I do not represent any department or group. I am not a "democracy troublemaker" that the Fifty Cent Gang refers to, I am not speaking for the government and I do not represent any independent investigative team of scholars and lawyers. I only represent myself as a person who has studied the nature of evidence for the last ten years and who insists on speaking with my conscience. Secondly, I only care about the truth. If you think that the truth is unimportant compared to the deep structural social problems behind the case, then you should ignore what I have to say because that is something to be addressed in a different essay. Thirdly, I am not here to please anyone. If you have subjectively decided that this was either a murder case or a traffic incident, then you should not waste any time reading this particular essay. It is hard to change someone's pre-established position. If you are going to curse me out because my conclusions are different from what you want, I don't want you to accept what I have to say either. My conclusions won't satisfy everybody. Fourthly, my judgment is based upon the evidence being genuine. As such, my conclusions are limited and my views may not be correct. They are here only for your consultation. I don't care about people heaping insults on me, because it will only reinforce my views. I welcome any recommendations, and I will attempt to respond to any reasonable doubts.
Section 1. The principal evidence.
1. Physical evidence: The Jiefang construction truck with license Anhui K5B323 involved the case (photos); the body (photos); the marks on the construction truck (photos); the umbrella found at the scene (photos)
2. Documentary evidence: The petition documents from the Zhaiqiao villagers; court documents; government reports; police reports; press releases; 110 police activity logs; telephone call logs; etc.
3. Testimony by witnesses: Passenger Huang Biao; Zhaiqiao village resident Qian Chengyu; Huayi village resident Huang Diyan; the Yueqing City Security Company security guards; other Zhaiqiao villagers.
4. Testimony by defendant: Driver Fei Liangyu.
5. Audio-visual materials: Surveillance video at the stone quarry; surveillance video at the Huayi village; videos taken by netizens at the scene after the incident; videos taken by the police after they arrive at the scene.
6. Notes taken from the scene examination: Based upon the police description.
7. Examination results: Examination by the Wenzhou Changxun Motor Vehicle Inspection Office; the lie detector tests administered to the two "eyewitnesses" and the driver.
Section 2. The background
1. The deceased: Qian Yunhui, male, 53 years old, elementary school education, resident of Zhaiqiao village, Puqi town, Yueqing city, Zhejiang province. Elected as village committee director in 2005. A troublemaker in the eyes of the local government. In 1992, he was sentenced to 8 months in prison for intentionally injuring another persons. In 2005, he was sentenced to 6 months of prison (suspended pending good behavior in the next two years) for disrupting public order. In 2008, he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for illegally transferring land use. Released from prison on July 22, 2010. In the eyes of local residents, Qian Yunhui was a righteous, clean and bold village mayor. After he was elected village director in 2005, he led the villagers to petition relentlessly over the land requisition for the Yueqing Power Plant and went to jail twice for his efforts. "At first, a large group of people followed him. In the end, he was the only one left to still persist." In the August 25, 2010 petition materials, Qian Yunhui signed it as "The oppressed Zhaiqiao village committee director by public opinion: Qian Yunhui." The document had the village committee chop.
2. Yueqing Electricity Generator Plant: This is located within Puqi town and Nanyue town within Yueqing city. It is an important component of the "50 billion RMB" construction projects and "three ten million" goals. Total investment amount was 10.8 billion yuan, coming from the Zhejiang Energy Sources Group, China National Electricity Group, Wenzhou Electricity Investment Limited, Zhengtai Group and Huafeng Group in the ratios of 51%, 23%, 16%, 5% and 5%. The plan was established first in 2004 with a loan of 2.33 billion RMB from the China Industrial and Commerce Bank and the China Construction Bank. The plant was completed and operating on July 4, 2010.
3. Zhaiqiao village: Zhaiqiao village is located in northeastern Puzi town close to Nanyue town. The southeastern part of it is by the ocean. There are more than 900 families within the population of 3,800 persons. Of the land, 750 mu are arable, 510 mu are hills and 815 mu are beaches. The mean annual per capita income is around 9,000 RMB.
4. The main controversy before the incident: In 2003, the planned Zhejiang Energy Yueqing Power Plant requisitioned 213 mu of forest land from Zhaiqiao village as well as renting another 297 mu of forest land. The villagers were unhappy. The government also took back 470 of beach land, paying only for the lost crops and 2,000 yuan per mu of land transfer fees. At the same time, the Yueqing PowerPlant built a dyke outside Friendship Pond and caused the beach to be free of tide water. As a result, the crops in Friendship Pond were destoyed.
In November 2003, apart from Zhaiqiao village, the relocation at eleven other villagers had been completed. Zhaiqiao village was dissatisfied with the 11,574,000 yuan compensation offered by the government. Instead, they proposed to set the compensation at 1.895 billion yuan, including 500 million yuan for the Dashuiwan Hill, 400 million yuan for the beach, 500 million yuan for the deep water pier, 320 million for the quarry hill, 150 million yuan for the trees, 24 million for the hilly land. The Yueqing government made the final offer of 38 million yuan. In April 2004, an agreement was signed with the village committee. At the time, the village party secretary and eight members of the village committee signed on the agreement for the compensation amount of 38 million yuan. But other villagers including Qian Yunhui refused to accept this agreement. According to the petition materials, the eight representatives were forced to sign the document after being detained in isolation by the town government.
On April 26, 2004, seven Zhaiqiao village representatives including Qian Yunhui wanted to petition in Beijing but they were intercepted by the Yueqing public security bureau. On April 28, Zhaiqiao villagers went to "pose questions to" the then Yueqing city mayor Huang Zhengqiang. 72 villagers were detained. The local villagers called this the "4.28 bloodshed." Before his death, Qian Yunhui petitioned repeated about the Yueqing Power Plant land compensation issue. Qian Yunhui and others believe that the 38 million yuan compensation was unfair and their land was being robbed to enrich the local real estate tycoons.
In June 2005, the document <Decision to approve the Yueqing Power Plant 2 x 600,000 kilowatts project> noted that the project began construction without state approval and is therefore violating basic construction rules and procedures. Economic penalties were imposed as specified under the <State Council Office notice on managing power plant projects and recent construction>. Thus, the Yueqing Power Plant construction went ahead without State Land Bureau approval. On August 31, 2005, the State Land Resources approved the Yueqing Power Plant project. Of the total compensation amount of 38 million yuan, 10,617,613 yuan was transferred on June 30, 2005 to the Agricultural Cooperative Bank account of Zhaiqiao village. The remaining 27,381,931 yuan was transferred on November 18 to the special account of Puqi town for the Yueqing Power Plant project. But Zhaiqiao village director Qian Yunhui who was elected in April 2005 and other villagers refused to accept this money, which has languished in that bank account all these years.
5. The situation before the incident: On December 17, a truck carrying rocks from the Hongqiao town Wandi village stone quarry came to the Hongnan Highway in front of Zhaiqiao village heading to the Yueqing Power Plant and was intercepted by villagers. The villagers forbade the truck from proceeding. The driver had to return to the stone quarry. On December 18, Qian Yunhui directed villagers to block the road towards the Yueqing Power Plant and the Lingang Industrial Development Zone with several electricity poles so that the coal trucks could not pass. The stone trucks could not pass either. On December 19, a stone-carrying truck fleet was again blocked when it reached the village and had to turn back. On December 20, the police sent in a forklift vehicle to remove the electricity poles. Then it began to rain and snow, so the truck fleet stopped operation. Operations resumed on December 23.
Section 4. Analysis of the case details
1. When did it happen?
It probably took place around 9:43am on December 25, 2010. Here is the basis for the conclusion: The surveillance video showed that the Anhui K5B323 truck set out from the Wandi village stone quarry at 9:38am and passed the entrance to Huayi village at 9:42:09. Based upon the distance between the stone quarry and Huayi village, it is estimated that the truck was traveling at 40 kilometers per hour. At that speed, the truck should arrive at the entrance to Zhaiqiao village at 9:42:54. This means that the incident took place at 9:43am. Two to three minutes later, the police received the first telephone call at 9:46am. This supports the assumption. The police arrived at the scene at 9:53am.
2. Who made the last call to Qian Yunhui before he left home?
The rumor on the Internet was that a town deputy mayor asked to meet Qian Yunhui. They even named the deputy mayor as Xie Xiangzhong. But the record on Qian Yunhui's mobile phone showed that the last call came from a villager named Wang Liquan. The police located Wang and took his statement. Wang admitted that he called Qian. Wang Liquan, male, born on January 26, 1958, elementary school education, former village committee member, sentenced to jail alongside Qian for illegal land use transfer. In the petition materials prepared by Qian and others, one of the demands was: "Restore Wang Liquan's Communist Party membership; vindicate Qian Yunhui and others." I conclude that Wang Liquan and Qian Yunhui are fellow "warriors" in the trenches. The civilian investigation team that traveled to Yueqing was unable to meet Wang Liquan, so it is unknown why he called Qian Yunhui.
3. Were there eyewitnesses at the scene? Apart from the two drivers, there may be no other direct eyewitnesses
In the Internet posts and media reports, the most frequently mentioned eyewitness is Zhaiqiao village resident Qian Chengyu. The popular version claimed that Qian Chengyu saw four security guards holding Qian Yunhui down and summoning the construction truck to come over. But Qian Chengyu said that he never said that. Could it be that he really said it before but changed his story after being detained? He was administered a lie detector test, and he was not shown to be lying. The Wenzhou police investigative team spokesperson Huang Xiaozhong said that Qian Chengyu adamantly denied that he ever said that. He sounded angry and he counter-questioned the police: "People go to jail for spreading rumors. Why would I spread rumors? I clearly did not see it!" The police lie detector test showed that there is a 99.9% that he was telling the truth. Xu Zhiyong and others interviewed the family of Qian Chengyu. His sister recalled that on the night of the incident, her brother told her that he was standing in front of the truck and there were several other people behind the truck. He saw that the village director was underneath the truck. But she did not say that Qian Chengyu told her that he saw the village director being held down on the ground by the several people behind the truck. Qian Chengyu did not see how the incident happened. He was the first to arrive at the scene, but he was still not a direct eyewitness. Xu Zhiyong and others also revealed a recording in which Qian Chengyu told a traffic police officer right after the incident: "I was standing there. Yunhui was already down. He tripped over. I don't know if there was anyone inside the car." Based upon this, Xu Zhiyong's team basically concluded that Qian Chengyu did not see anyone holding Qian Yunhui down on the ground.
Why was Qian Chengyu detained? He was detained for assembling a crowd to cause trouble and participated in the attack on the police officers. We will come back to this point later.
Another eyewitness was 52-year-old Huang Diyan from the neighboring Huayi village. She said that she "saw three persons wearing surgical masks holding Qian Yunhui down for the truck to run him over." But her testimony was that she did not witness the incident and she overturned that story. Huang Diyan said: "Someone told me to perform a good deed so that my daughter's (mental illness) will get better along with my own ailments. I asked what good deed? He said that someone was murdered, his hands were held down, his neck was grabbed, he was screaming for help." As to whether she saw anyone holding Qian Yunhui down, Huang Diyan said: "I did not see it. Several people told me to say that I saw it and testify to it. If the case is victorious, my daughter will get better."
4. Do the two drivers have the motive to commit murder?
The construction truck Anhui K5B323's owner Fei Liangyu and driver Huang Biao work for the Hongqiao town Wandi tillage stone quarry truck fleet. The stone quarry is run by the Yueqing Wangang District Investment and Development Limited Company which has the license to mine between August 6, 2009 and August 31, 2011. At present, 12 construct trucks deliver rocks.
Fei Liangyu, male, born in 1979, Anhui province Yongshang county Huangqiao town Zhangzhuang village Donghai brigade. On September 28, 2010, he arrived at the stone quarry in a brand new Jiefang construction truck. He had recently purchased that truck. The truck weighs 25 tons and is permitted to carry 12.405 tons. It costs more than 400,000 RMB of which Fei Liangyu put up more than 200,000 RMB himself mainly through loans from relatives and the remaining 200,000 RMB or so was a bank loan. The truck is registered to the Changchun Motor Transportation Company in Yongshang county, Anhui province. At the construction site, the 12 truck owners were all Anhui residents who came in the company of home folks. Fei Liangyu and his wife rent a place nearby. His wife is pregnant and almost due to deliver.
Huang Biao, male, born in 1975. Anhui province, Yongshang county, Huangqiao town, Zhangzhuang village. He is from the same village as Fei Liangyu.
At the construction site, the truck owners make the most money. They make about 6 yuan per cubic meter of stone materials that they transport. The distance between the Tangshan stone quarry to the Lingang Industrial Zone is about 7 kilometers which can be covered in about 15 minutes. A truck can earn about 150 yuan per trip. The construction site works from 5:30am to 10:30pm. Each truck has two drivers who take turns. So a truck can net 1,500 yuan per day. Fei Liangyu does not have a driver's license, but Huang Biao does. The two took turns driving. Before the incident, Fei Liangyu was making 30,000 to 40,000 yuan per month with a net profit of 15,000 yuan. He has to pay his hired driver Huang Biao 3,000 yuan in wages. Based upon this rate, the truck loan can be repaid in two years.
Because the income is based upon tonnage, all drivers try to carry as much as possible. So overloading is a common phenomenon. At the time of the incident, the truck was carrying 35.020 tons, which was 282% capacity. The 7 kilometers from the Tangshan quarry to the Lingang Industrial Zone passes through many dense residential areas and normally takes about 20 minutes. Many drivers drive fast and take as little as 12 minutes so that they can earn more money. Therefore the truck may be speeding at the time. The overloading also affects the ability of the truck to brake.
On the morning of the incident, Fei Liangyu was driving because Huang Biao did not have breakfast yet. After hitting the pedestrian, they abandoned the truck and fled because they were afraid of being assaulted by local villagers. They called the police by telephone and turned themselves in. In their initial statements, they were suspected of perjuring themselves. Since Fei Liangyu did not have a driver's license, they initially stated that Huang Biao was the driver (that is, Huang Biao told the traffic police that he was driving the construction truck at the time). If Huang Biao ran into a pedestrian under normal circumstances, he does not face criminal charges. But if the unlicensed Fei Liangyu was driving, he faces criminal charges. Later on, it was established that Fei Liangyu was the driver. Fei was arrested while Huang Biao was sentenced to administrative detention for committing perjury. At this time, both individuals have passed the lie detector tests.
According to the driver Fei Liangyu: "I saw a pedestrian in the middle of the road. He had just gotten to the middle of the road. I sounded the horn, I changed direction, I made an emergency effort to avoid him. But he kept coming, he went straight ahead, he did not stop. But then it was too late to brake." This testimony shows that the truck swung to the left to avoid Qian Yunhui who was in the middle of the road. But Qian thought that the truck was going to go straight and therefore ran ahead. Since he was crossing from the right to the left, both the truck and the pedestrian were now heading to the left. They were not able to adjust and they collided. Before the collision, Fei Liangyu became aware that he was going in the wrong direction and therefore reversed directions to the right. Therefore, the wheels became straightened out again. But it was too late and Qian was hit by the left front wheel. This kind of situation happens often among pedestrians. You want to go down the middle of the sidewalk, and another person comes right at you. You head for your left and he heads to his right, and the two of you collide. If the testimony of the driver is correct, this situation is quite likely. This can also explain the direction of Qian Yunhui's body because he was heading in that direction.
Fei Liangyu and Huang Biao do not know Qian Yunhui. Their truck was delivering rocks as usual from the stone quarry. The timing also does not support the hypothesis that the two were lying in ambush. They have no direct motive to commit murder. Could they be hired assassins? This is not likely. First of all, Fei Liangyu has just a reached a career point where his future is promising. As a truck owner, he was netting around 15,000 yuan a month. He should be able to provide for his family. There are no reasons for him to hire himself out for this. Secondly, Fei's wife is pregnant and he is due to become a father. If he gets caught as a hired assassin, he faces the death penalty. Besides, he is unlicensed so that even if he is free of the murder charge, he still faces criminal liability. He is an unlikely choice as an assassin. If an assassin is to be selected, it should be a licensed person who will have no responsibility in an ordinary traffic accident. If this is an assassination, why would Huang Biao be there too? It is easier to keep one mouth shut than two mouths. Why increase the risks of exposure?
If you ignore the evidence and directly conclude that the driver committed intentional murder, it means that a person who would have gone to prison for just a few years may now be facing the death sentence. Is this fair to him? Do you want another injustice?
5. Do the Yueqing Power Plant and the local government departments have the motive to commit murder?
This is the section that netizens talk most about. Many people ask the relevant Yueqing departments to recuse themselves from the case because they cannot be trusted as the most likely suspects. Over the six years of persistent petitioning, Qian Yunhui has definitely caused a lot of annoyance for the Yueqing Power Plant. But the project was completed on July 4, 2009. This thing is over, so that there is no need to kill Qian Yunhui now. During the petitioning process, Qian Yunhui had been sent to prison for disrupting public order. If the relevant government departments want to stop the petitioning, they must have plenty of other ways. According to Qian Yunhui's family, "a large group of people followed him at first but now he is the only one left." Qian Yunhui was fighting alone. There was no reason to kill him. If he has to be murdered, it would not be done in broad daylight (around 9am in the morning) at the village entrance. I guess that it can be done in a more secretive manner without so much hassle.
6. Why was the truck driving down the wrong way?
The concrete was 16 meters wide and straight. At the time, one-quarter of the road was taken over by construction and piled with construction materials. Therefore, the truck went down the left side.
7. Are there brake marks at the scene?
According to the police photos, there "appears" to be brake marks. But there are plenty of doubts over this. There is an essay entitled <Traffic accident or deliberate murder? Car tire marks do not lie!>. But this essay did not clearly state that there were no brake marks. I have viewed the photos many times. I still think that the marks were more likely to be brake marks, especially the last "drag marks" right behind the wheel. At the scene, the security guard named Zheng said that he heard a loud braking noise. That would support that the mark came from braking. Since the truck was overloaded, its momentum was heavy and the braking could have dragged the soil up. The other wheel did not have a body to impede it and therefore did not drag up any soil.
8. How fast was the truck going?
If it is true as the police say that the drag mark measured 5.4 meters, we can calculate the speed of the truck at the time. If the brake was not fully applied, a heavier truck would take more time to stop. If the brake was applied fully, the time is independent of the weight. According to the car velocity formula v = SQRT(254*f*s), the road was a Class 3/4 type with a f-factor of 1.2. Since the police measured the drag mark to be 5.4 meters, the car velocity v should be 40.57 kilometers/hour. This was the velocity before the brake was applied ...
9. In the Internet video, many villagers said "they deliberately ran him over" and "murder."
I have repeatedly watched the video <The mystery of the death of Qian Yunhui: Netizen video immediately direct from the scene>. I have also consulted the translations of the local dialect. It is basically certain that the information did not offer anything of value with respect to this case not being a traffic incident. These villagers did not witness the event itself. But based upon their anger and speculation, they believed that this was murder and not an ordinary traffic incident. I can understand their feelings. But venting your emotions does not represent the truth. There is insufficient evidence to support the claims of these villagers. If there is, please let me know.
10. The ground underneath the truck was dry. How do you explain that?
According to China Management News reporter Yi Wentian's report, the family of Qian Yunhui said: "He finished the noodles and went out with an umbrella underneath his armpit. His wife asked him why he took the umbrella. He said that he was afraid that it might rain on the way back ..." From this, it can be determined that it was not raining when he went out. That is to say, at the time of the incident, it was not yet raining or it may be just drizzling. That was why Qian Yunhui was only carrying the umbrella under his armpit. At the time of the collision, Qian Yunhui may not even have opened the umbrella. That was why the umbrella at the scene was found to be still folded. If it were opened, it would have been blown away afterwards. The rain began only after the incident take place. If the truck stayed still at the scene, the ground underneath it would still be dry while it was wet outside. If there is evidence that the rain began on or after 9:43am, this would be completely supported. The police said that Qian Yunhui crossed the road with the umbrella opened. I am doubtful about this small detail.
11. What is the deal with the so-called four security guards?
During the period before this incident, there had been clashes with the Zhaiqiao villagers over the laying of cables. The Yueqing Security Company sent in 80 to 100 security guards to patrol the area. Two of the civilian investigation teams that went to Yueqing visited the security company to learn what happened that day. They also interviewed the security guards who were there that day. The responses were basically consistent. These security guards had been arranged to sit in five buses and instructed not to go out. At the time of the incident, the security guard named Zheng got out of the bus to urinate. He heard a sharp braking noise and saw that a construction truck ahead seemed to have hit something. He was so scared that he did not even urinate. He got back on the bus and told the others that the construction truck seemed to have hit something. At the time, the other security guards were watching a movie on the bus and did not see what happened. The security guard named Zhang got out of the bus and walked over to the construction truck. He saw that the construction truck had hit someone. He also saw Qian Chengyu who came over from the front of the truck. Zhang called 110 immediately. The security guards named Shi and Sun also came out of their bus to see. Sun called the police again. At this time, other villagers showed up and began to attack the security guards. Nobody witnessed the four security guards holding anyone down on the ground.
12. Why did the "special police" appear so quickly?
It was mentioned previously that the Yueqing Security Company had 80 to 100 security guards on patrol near the scene, mainly to prevent the villagers from impeding the laying of electric cables. According to what Wang Xiaoshan and Dou Hanzhang saw, these security guards wear police uniforms and carry anti-riot equipment (shields) and they look like 'special police' (=SWAT Special Weapons and Tactics Team). After the incident several security guards who got out of the bus to see what was going on were surrounded by villagers. So the other security guards got out to rescue their colleagues and maintain order. So these were the so-called "special police" that we see in the photos.
13. If this is just a traffic incident, why did the police mobilize in large numbers to "grab" people?
The term "grab" is ambiguous because it can mean "detention" or "request to assist in an investigation." The former case includes Qian Chengyu who was arrested for assembling a crowd to cause trouble. The latter includes Qian Yunhui's daughter who was asked to "assist in an investigation" and released afterwards. A detail that should not be ignored that is that the villagers attacked the security guards after the incident. The first group of "police" who showed up at the scene were actually security guards. There were many of them and they were trying to rescue their beleaguered colleagues. The real police arrived at 9:53am. At the time, someone said that the Border Patrol trainee police officer Lei Yuexie was the truck driver. So the crowd surrounded and attacked him, wounding him in the process. The second wave of police arrived was the city public security brigade and special patrol squad led by Gu Yueyong. They were there after noontime. The deputy director sent the public security brigade captain Hou Jinhai and four other plainclothesmen into the crowd to find out what was going on. At 12:57 Hou Jinhai was ready to leave when he was identified by villagers. Hou Jinhai had previously arrested Qian Yunhai, so the villagers attacked him brutally, causing broken ribs, brow bone, nose bone and ankle. He was taken to the Wenzhou Medical Hospital's Number One Auxiliary Hospital for treatment. Three other police officers were injured as well. At this time, six persons including Qian Chengyu were arrested for assembling a crowd and causing trouble. The third wave of police officers was led by Political and Legal Committee secretary Huang Min and Public Security Bureau director Jin Guoping. Their main work was to disperse the villagers, eliminate the road blocks and transport the body. Of course, this includes arresting the troublemakers too. As it turns out, six persons were arrested.
14. Why did the police seize the body?
In traffic incidents, the police take over the body after they finish examining the scene. The body is usually taken to a funeral parlor where a medical examiner conducts an examination or autopsy. By law, the police and not the family takes charge of the body. Ordinary people do not understand this point. That may be why a misunderstanding exists that the family was opposing the police. At the time, the family had set up a mourning hall by the roadside. Therefore, the body was taken to the Yuiqing funeral parlor by 5pm. By law, the police has the right to take charge of the body. If someone interferes, the police can use force. Therefore the police did not seize the body. But the people do not trust the police and so it was easy to say that the police "seized the body." Before the case is closed, the body will not be cremated.
15. What are the autopsy results?
Usually autopsy reports require ten days or so to prepare. In this case, the family did not consent to an autopsy. Therefore the police only visually inspected the body and observed no other wounds except for the injuries caused by the truck wheel.
Based upon the above analyses, my preliminary conclusion is that the Qian Yunhui case is a traffic incident. The events are as follows: At 9:38am on December 25, 2010, Fei Liangyu set off in a Jiefang construction truck with license plate K5B323 from the Wandi stone quarry at about 40 kilometers/hour. He arrived at the entrance of Zhaiqiao village at around 9:43am and he spotted Qian Yunhui crossing the road. At the time Qian Yunhui had already reached the middle of the road. Fei stepped on the brake and veered left. Qian Yunhui saw the truck heading towards him down the middle of the road and he sped up to avoid being hit. Both parties tried to avoid each other, but they ended up colliding instead. Qian Yunhui was hit by the left front of the truck. The left wheel crushed his chest and neck, and dragged him down on the ground. Qian Yunhui died instantaneously.
Actually, there is nothing new in this conclusion. All I did was to organize and analysis all the evidence in the case. I focus on the process and not the conclusion. Reality is never as suspenseful as detective novels, and it cannot satisfy the curiosity of certain people. But there is only one truth. Many reasonable conjectures may not be factual, whereas many implausible things may be factual. On the morning of January 1, a person named Liu Yiming claimed at the iFeng BBS that a local Yueqing source has revealed that the civilian investigative teams have been bought off by the relevant local government departments. Supposedly, the "celebrities" Peng Jian and Xu Zhiyong received 2 million yuan each, while other members received between 300,000 yuan and 1,000,000 yuan. Apart from monetary offers, the local government also told them these people and their families would be risking their lives if they didn't agree. Under these circumstances, the "independent civilian investigation team" had to issue the investigation report <No evidence to show that it was a murder>. Do you believe this? I think that this rumor was poorly manufactured.
If I took money to cover up for the relevant departments, I would not be able to sleep at night because Grandpa Qian is going to watch me from heaven. But after having written all this, I feel that I can sleep at ease. No matter what, this is a tragedy. For a long time, people were dissatisfied with how the local government handled the land compensation. With the death of the village director and the Internet, this became a public incident. The issues that have to be contemplated are too grim to be addressed here ...
(CNN) Eyewitness: Chinese police, protesters clash after villager's death Eva Bower. January 2, 2011.
Villagers and police clashed outside a small town in southeastern China on Saturday, one week to the day after a popular local leader there died under contested circumstances, an eyewitness said.
The eyewitness, who asked not to be identified because of safety concerns, said villagers threw rocks at police at a major intersection on a road between the towns of Hongqiao and Puqi, outside of the city of Wenzhou.
Authorities chased protesters, the eyewitness said. They beat some and arrested others, the person said.
CNN was not immediately able to independently verify the account of the protest.
The incident was not reported in China's official state media, and the Chinese government had not released an official statement on the clash as of late Saturday.
The eyewitness sent CNN amateur video of the event, which showed police and groups of villagers clustered around a busy intersection. At one point, what looks to be a rock is thrown into the crowd. People scurry away.
Earlier, activists and journalists in the area had announced on Twitter that local villagers were planning a protest march in response to Qian Yunhui's death and its aftermath. The march was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday in the town of Hongqiao.
At 9 a.m., anti-riot and traffic police appeared at major intersections in the area to prevent the protest, the eyewitness said. Blocked by police, the crowd began to head away from the town and toward the village of Zhaiqiao, the hometown of Yunhui, said the eyewitness. Zhaiqiao is located in Yueqing city.
Yunhui was killed in Yueqing city on December 25, and photos of his corpse underneath the wheel of a large truck went viral in the Chinese blogosphere.
The photograph was unmistakably graphic: a lifeless man under the large tire of a truck -- his eyes shut, mouth half-open with blood streaming out and his head detached from his crushed body.
The circumstances surrounding the death of 53-year-old Yunhui last Saturday, however, almost resemble the plot of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's classic "Rashomon" -- with differing versions of the event and flip-flopping witnesses.
The government initially said Qian died in an ordinary traffic accident and detained the truck driver.
But as shocking images from the scene in Yueqing city began to appear on a popular Chinese online forum last Sunday, some posts suggested he was murdered by local officials for advocating villagers' rights in a land dispute. Word quickly spread online and mainstream Chinese news media picked up the story.
Many people were appalled by the gruesome details described by two people who claimed to have witnessed the death. Qian was held down to the ground by three masked men as a heavy truck slowly drove over his neck, the Southern Daily newspaper quoted one of them as saying, adding that police had detained another witness.
Qian's life story also struck a chord with the public. When the Yueqing government in 2004 approved the construction of a power plant in Qian's village, the farmers were tricked into signing their land away for free, according to a report in the 21st Century Economic Herald newspaper.
Qian, then the village chief, led his fellow villagers in protesting the land grab and demanding proper compensation. He was arrested and sentenced to prison twice but continued the fight after his release -- even traveling to Beijing to petition the central government, the Herald report said.
Amid rising national outrage over the alleged murder of a local hero, authorities in Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province, which oversees Yueqing, launched a criminal investigation Tuesday -- and drew their conclusions less than 48 hours later.
In a late-night press conference Wednesday, officials reiterated that Qian was a victim of a traffic accident, not a murder. Police assigned blame to the inexperienced trucker driving without a license, the severely overloaded vehicle with faulty brakes, the slippery road on a rainy day -- and even Qian himself for not being careful when crossing the road.
"We thoroughly investigated the life and work as well as social connections of the suspect (driver), and eliminated the possibility of him intentionally killing (Qian)," said Shen Qiang, deputy police chief of Wenzhou. "There were obvious skid marks, drag marks of the body and collision marks on the scene, all of which contradicted the scenario of someone being held down and crushed," he added.
State-run China Central Television later aired interviews of the two eyewitnesses, including a man detained for assaulting police. Contrary to earlier reports quoting them, they both denied seeing Qian's brutal murder. "Several men told me if I said these things, they would help me treat my daughter's illness," Huang Diyan told CCTV.
The police conclusions and CCTV interviews have not satisfied many online, however, especially as state censors quietly erased earlier news reports, personal posts and comments on the topic on the internet.
With mainstream media's independent reporting on Qian's death coming a screeching halt, grassroots activists continue chasing the case, digging up new information on the land dispute and traveling to Yueqing to talk to villagers.
Wu Gan, a rights activist, has obtained a lengthy police video that showed the chaotic scene after the truck crushed Qian. He posted it online for the public to view and analyze before heading to the village Thursday evening to offer legal assistance to anyone in need.
"I don't prejudge -- I just want to restore the truth," he told CNN. "The way the authorities dealt with this incident was just not open or fair -- they have lost all credibility."
Wu said the Internet provides ordinary Chinese with an outlet to express their anger over injustice resulting from a storyline common in the country -- poor farmers losing land to corrupt officials working with businesses, and then losing even more in failed attempts to petition to higher authorities.
"This death really shows the bottom line of what is intolerable keeps getting lower," he said.
(Chai Huiqun's blog) The Exploited Traffic Tragedy -- An Analysis of the Case of Qian Yunhui December 30, 2010.
The death of the petitioning village chief Qian Yunhui turned him into a national celebrity. His death has two completely different theories: traffic incident and murder. Usually, it is easy to tell between these two kinds of death. But it becomes difficult here because of the special status of the deceased and the special background. But I don't think it is hard to judge if we look at the evidence from the scene.
First of all, let us look at the supporting evidence for each scenario.
The "murder" theory includes the following evidence:
Eyewitnesses: This is the most important part. According to the investigations by me and my peers, many Zhaiqiao villagers say that Qian Yunhui was murdered. It can even be said that the majority thinks that he was murdered. But these assertions were mostly based upon hearsay. So far only one person have claimed to have directly witnessed the incident -- villager Huang Diyan from the neighboring Huayi village. I happened to be present when she made that claim. I recorded her statement and I took a photo of her. She gave a lively description: three persons wearing surgical masks knocked Qian Yunhui down on the ground, held his hands behind his back and summoned a construction truck to come and crush him to death. Of course, most of the reporters present including myself could not understand her dialect. A local person (who claimed to be a cousin of Qian Yunhui) translated. There may be discrepancies in the translation, but it should be mostly correct because it seemed to correspond to Huang's expressions and gestures.
But please pay attention to the fact that Huang Diyan's testimony deviates from what was being spread around the village at the time. The word (which was said to originate from Zhaiqiao villager Qian Chengyu who was present at the scene) had been that four men in security guard uniform held Qian Yunhui down on the ground for the truck to run him over. Between the two versions, one had three persons, the other had four persons; one had them wearing security guard uniforms, the other didn't; one had them wearing surgical masks, the other didn't. Clearly, the two versions are different. If both persons saw the same event at the same place at the same time, these big discrepancies should not happen.
Even so, if she really saw what she said she saw, Qian Yunhui might really have been murdered. Unfortunately, this sole direct eyewitness recanted her claim later. My colleague Wang Jing from China News Weekly interviewed Huang, who said that her mind was gone and she didn't remember having seen anything. When interviewed by CCTV, she also claimed that she didn't see it and that someone had told her to say it.
Of course Huang may have changed her story under pressure. As evidence, her testimony is unreliable at the very least.
In a murder case, material evidence is also required besides witnesses. Unfortunately, there is no material evidence pointing to murder. Of course, the autopsy is important but we do not yet an autopsy report. If the autopsy showed that Qian Yunhui died by murder, it would be the most important piece of evidence. Why has there been no autopsy? This brings up a different issue which I will address later.
The analysis above shows that there is no evidence for the murder theory so far. Actually, all those who support the murder theory are doing so by a preset logical inference beginning from the fact that Qian Yunhui was a village chief who led the villagers to petition against the government over the land transfer (and therefore he was murdered). But logical inference does not constitute evidence.
Next we look at the evidence for a traffic incident:
Firstly, the scene of death is a scene of a traffic incident. Or you can say that it looks like one. Or you can say that it was made to look like. But in the absence of any additional evidence, we can only say that it was the scene of a traffic incident. There is no doubt whatsoever, including the widely circulated death photos, that this was a scene of a traffic incident.
Secondly: there are at least two witnesses. One of them is Zhaiqiao villager Qian Chengyu and the other is one (or several) security guard(s). Of these, Qian Chengyu is the more important one. It is significant that he was rumored to be an eyewitness of the murder. But his testimony to the police and his statement to the CCTV reporter did not assert that he observed the murder of Qian Chengyu. On the contrary, he observed a scene of a traffic incident. It is not clear whether he saw the instant when the incident occurred. But he saw the scene of a traffic incident. At the same time, he did not see any sign of a murder. There is not much doubt here.
Thirdly, there is the physical evidence. This is also very important, because people can lie but physical evidence don't. The police investigation showed impact marks on the truck. This is an important piece of evidence because there can't be any impact marks if Qian Yunhui had been held down on the ground for the truck to roll over him slowly.
The scene of the incident, the witnesses and the physical evidence all point to say that this was basically a traffic incident.
After having covered the evidence, let us talk about common sense. If Qian Yunhui died by murder, there needs to be motives and circumstances. Please note that Qian Yunhui died in broad daylight. I have visited the scene of the incident and I saw that it was an exit road out of the village (where traffic incidents are more likely to occur) and relatively busy. It is incomprehensible to kill someone at this spot at that time of day. Of course you may say that the murderer was cunning precisely because the police was only able to find one or two eyewitnesses like Qian Chengyu. But to use a licensed construction truck carrying two persons to murder someone is either too audacious or too stupid.
Having covered the above situations, there are several more issues that need to be analyzed:
Firstly, if this was a traffic incident, why was it characterized as a murder? Who is saying that? Why are they saying that? Why did it result in such a big impact?
To answer these questions, we have to go back to the special status of Qian Yunhui and the special background of the case.
Qian Yunhui was elected village director in 2005. For a long time, he led the villagers to petition. He was jailed on three occasions. He was just released from jail six months ago. We can easily see that the death of such a person could cause a chain reaction. The fact is that Qian Yunhui was too important for Zhaiqiao village because he had decided on the disposition of a compensation totaling 38 million yuan.
Before Qian Yunhui was elected, the previous village committee had signed a compensation pact with the government. But before the compensation was made, Qian Yunhui was elected in a "coup." He decided not to honor the agreement that the preceding village committee had signed. That was the most important reason why he was elected. During the six years since, he kept working hard to petition to overturn that agreement. He kept at it until he met his death but he never made any progress ...
(Chai Huijun's blog) January 1, 2010.
Let us continue ...
On the contrary, Qian Yunhui and the people of Zhaiqiao village suffered tremendous losses during those years of petitioning. Qian Yunhui may be poorest village director in the area. His house which was built in the 1990's has still not finished interior and exterior decoration. It is no exaggeration to say that the house consists of four barren walls. Qian Yunhui spent more than one million yuan on petitioning. Some of the money came from villager donations and some of it (710,000 yuan) came from the "illegal" land transfer in 2008. Of the money, 400,000 yuan was swindled by a lawyer when they were petitioning in Beijing.
When I interviewed the Qian family, they said without exception that they were opposed to what Qian Yunhui was doing. They thought that he was a burden on the family. Frankly, I did not sense that the Qian family was particularly sad about his death. On the contrary, his death was a relief to them. Before the incident, he was away from home three nights in a row and the family did not ask him either. There was one rather cruel detail, because I found that Qian's wife who was staying in bed could only cry when reporters were present or for photos.
But the family members admitted that Qian Yunhui was still full of fighting spirit and confidence before this death. It is not certain where this confidence emanates. On the three occasions when Qian Yunhui returned home from prison, the villagers welcomed him back with firecrackers that run for several hundred meters.
It must be pointed out that Qian Yunhui did not receive the unanimous support of everybody in Zhaiqiao village. He was elected with the highest number of votes back then. But he failed again and again in his rights movement. His influence was waning among villagers. Apart from being clean and bold (which are exceptional qualities), I feel that Qian Yunhui did not have any capability that one would normally associate with a village director. He had only one year of education in elementary school. I could not understand any of his petition letters. He did not understand law and he did not understand policy. It would be tough to expect him to defend the rights of the villagers. In fact, I suspect that Qian Yunhui was always a tool either before or after his death. Sadly, apart from an imagined sense of achievement, he had nothing to show. There were signs that he was absent-minded the days before the incident. The driver claimed that as Qian Yunhui crossed the road, he honked but Qian gave no response.
But let us get back to the case itself: If the "murder" of Qian Yunhui was a rumor, then who manufactured it? What was the purpose? To solve this problem, we have to analyze what Zhaiqiao village will be facing after the death of Qian Yunhui.
First of all , there is the matter of the 38 million yuan compensation. This is the core of the affair. During his six years as village director, Qian Yunhui's mission was to lift the compensation to an amount that the villagers deemed to be reasonable. But he was unable to achieve that goal before his death. Therefore his death may be the only chance to untie this knot.
Based upon my news gathering experience, when the vulnerable farmers who have no policy, legal or economic means want to maximize their interests, they can only "magnify the matter." Announcing the death of Qian Yunhui to be murder is obviously the best way to magnify the matter. It can be said that the rumor mongers are using special methods to protect the interests of the entire village. Because their direct interests are involved, the Zhaiqiao villagers are willing to believe this. I think this is the reason why everyone in Zhaiqiao village is saying that it was murder.
The most powerful proof that supports my analysis is the emergence of the so-called second eyewitness Huang Diyan. She showed up on the afternoon of December 28. The police had just said that the first eyewitness Qian Chengyu had admitted that he did not see any murder. On the contrary, what he saw was the scene of a traffic incident. A large number of reporters were present at Zhaiqiao village. They were predisposed to believe that this was a murder, or they wanted it to be so. But they didn't have any evidence. They needed a witness. While interviewing at the Qian family home, Qian Yunhui's cousin told me something that impressed me greatly: "Don't you need a witness? There is a new witness ..."
After awhile, I went upstairs to interview. This cousin approached me again and said that the witness has arrived. I went back downstairs and I saw a woman dressed in red describing the scene. Qian Yunhui's cousin acted as the interpreter. I recorded a section of the conversation. Then I took a photo. I remembered clearly that the cousin looked alarmed.
But under the circumstances I almost believed in Huang's performance because it was too realistic to the point that I found nothing suspicious. Besides I instinctively believed that nobody would dare lie to reporters about such matters. It was not only me because almost all the reporters thought that Huang was telling the truth. Besides, what she said was awesome information falling down from the sky for newspaper reporters. I noted that Southern Daily, Oriental Morning News and Spring City Morning News all published Huang's testimony. I consider this to be a disastrous mistake committed by the media in their reporting of the death of Qian Yunhui. The impact of this mistake persists even to now.
But on the next day, everything changed. China News Weekly's Wang Jing texted me to say that Huang had started to say that her head has gone awry and she can't remember anything whatsoever. That evening, First Business News' Sun Wenxiang who was at the press conference told me that somebody had promised Huang six thousand yuan to be a witness. In the CCTV interview, Huang Diyan also admitted that someone told her to say it. This showed clearly that some people in Zhaiqiao village was manipulating this incident. They were exploiting the media to game the government. Their arrangement was successful because the media reported Huang's testimony and many readers believed it. All persons (including reporters, scholars and civilian investigation teams) who think that Qin Yunhui died in a traffic incident will be facing tremendous moral pressure hereafter.
(Mei Xinyua's blog) Was The Zhaiqiao Village Land Compensation 700 Million RMB? December 30, 2010.
The death of Zhejiang province Wenzhou city Yueqing city Puqi town Zhaiqiao villager resident Qian Yunhui caused a storm in society. The Zhejiang province major construction project Zhejiang Energy Yueqing Power Plant had requisitioned some land and the deceased had denounced the land transfer as illegal many times, even going to jail for his efforts. So even though the local government issued the preliminary determination that his death was a traffic incident along with some evidence, many commentators, media and netizens suspected that Qian Yunhui was murdered by business/government evil forces.
Within the swirl of rumors, there was an allegation that the Yueqing Power Plant paid 700 million RMB in land compensation but only 38 million RMB ended up in the village. This allegation is an eyeball-catching sensationalistic revelation because it implies corruption. But based upon an analysis of the available information, it can be determined that this was a rumor. Based upon the local and national land prices back then, 700 million RMB is an impossibly high price.
On December 29, the local government reported on the land requisition situation. Based upon the released information, the Zhejiang Energy Yueqing Power Plant requisitioned a total of 3,365.4 mu of land of which 325 mu were arable. This land came from 12 villages in Yueqing city's Nanyue and Puzi towns. Zhaiqiao village was one of those villages, and its requisitioned land consisted of 213.8 mu of forest land plus some state-owned. On April 9, 2004, the Yueqing city State Land Resources BUreau signed an agreement with Zhaiqiao village for compensation to the amount of 38 million RMB.
Based upon this information, the 213.8 mu land in Zhaiqiao village is equivalent to 142,533 square meters. The average price per square meter is therefore 38 million RMB / 142,533 square meters = 266.60 square meters. The following tables show the base land price in Wenzhou city in 2004.
Wenzhou city 2004 State-owned Land Base Prices
Table 1. Wenzhou Commercial Use Land Base Price Table
Base Price RMB/sqm
Maximum Term (yrs)
Table 2. Wenzhou Residential Use Land Base Price Table
Base Price RMB/sqm
Maximum Term (yrs)
Table 3. Wenzhou Industrial Use Land Base Price Table
Base Price RMB/sqm
Maximum Term (yrs)
But if the price was to be 700 million RMB as alleged in the prevailing rumor, then the price would be 700 million RMB / 142,533 square meters = 4,911.3 yuan/sqm. What kind of price leel is that? In Table 3, the top Grade 1 industrial land in Wenzhou city was 1,250 yuan/sqm, so this is four times that. The top Grade 1 residential land in Wenzhou was 4,462 yuan/sqm, so Zhaiqiao village was worth 450 yuan/sqm more than that! Considering that Zhaiqiao village is not the most developed area in Wenzhou city, is this price level possible?
If this price is compared against the national level, it is even more absurd. In 2004, the average land price was 1,198 yuan/sqm across China; in the Beijing/Tianjin area, the average land price was 2,009 yuan/sqm. So Zhaiqing was worth two-and-a-half times Beijing-Tianjin. Ever since the economic reforms began, Beijing has always led the nation in terms of land prices. Yueqing is merely a subordinate city within Wenzhou city, and Zhaiqing village is not in the center of Yueqing. Therefore the land price ought to be a lot less than the principally residential/commercial land in Beijing city. However, the price in the rumor states that Zhaiqiao is worth a lot more than Beijing.
There is no doubt that in the process of land requisitions for development, there are many instances in which the legal rights of the peasants have been violated, sometimes in truly awful ways. But at the same time, we cannot ignore the instances in which the farmers are demanding unreasonable compensation against the public interest. For example, they demand additional compensation years later because of a bullish real estate market. This is a violation of basic trust in transactions. This type of "rights defense" violates basic market and social order and does not deserve our protection.
In an environment where rumors abound and the Internet facilitates these irresponsible rumor mongers to spread their lies, it is ever more important to analyze and judge in a calm and reasonable fashion. If the facts showed that we were deceived, we cannot keep saying that "the government has lost the public trust." This is not helpful towards improving our judgments. Why should we think that it is good for us to be easily deceived by rumors?
(Global Times) Public trial for man charged in killing of village chief Ge Lili January 5, 2010.
Local authorities in Yueqing, Zhejiang Province, said journalists, lawyers and ordinary people will be allowed to observe the trial concerning the controversial Christmas Day killing of Qian Yunhui, a village chief who petitioned authorities about land acquisition. Many villagers believe Qian was intentionally murdered because of his activism but authorities say he died during a traffic accident.
The local government said in a notice posted on its official microblog that members of the public could exercise their right to monitor the government. Fei Liangyu, the driver who struck Qian, will face trial for a traffic accident crime, a charge that was approved by the local procuratorate, China News Service reported Tuesday. News of the arrest and charge came Tuesday after hundreds of villagers clashed with authorities at a major intersection between the towns of Hongqiao and Puqi Saturday. Police earlier said Qian's death was merely the result of a tragic traffic accident, but some villagers suggested that Qian was murdered because his petitions angered authorities.
Several groups comprised of lawyers, scholars and activists went to Yueqing to look into the facts of Qian's death. Two groups headed respectively by Xu Zhiyong, a rights advocate and Wang Xiaoshan, an Internet user, traveled to Yueqing on December 30. Another group is headed by Yu Jianrong, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Xu claimed that Qian's death was indeed the result of a normal traffic accident. Wang Xiaoshan also claimed Saturday that he did not find any evidence that proved Qian was murdered and he has already departed Yueqing. "I'm just an onlooker instead of an investigator," Wang told the Global Times Tuesday. Many Internet users expressed dissatisfaction over the claims of both Xu and Wang. Yu left Yueqing Monday and said in his microblog that he could not make a judgment about whether Qian was murdered without any key evidence or witnesses.
Calls to the Wenzhou government went unanswered.
Zhang Yongpan's questions about the case of Qian Yunhui. January 5, 2011.
I disagree with the conclusions reached by Doctor Xu Yongzi under the name of Gongmeng. I do not think that there is sufficient proof that this was an ordinary traffic incident. I personally do not think that Doctor Xu Yongzi should issue this investigative report under the name of Gongmeng. In addition, I am not satisfied with the attitude and methods in Doctor Xu Yongzi's work. I hope that Doctor Xu can be more rigorous and careful in future investigations. I hope that this open statement will make you realize that you should not insist on your ways! I don't want the reputation of Gongmeng be damaged because of the mistakes made by individuals!
2. The following are the questions that I have after spending several days in Yueqing.
1. Is the driver a drug abuser? Was he recently released from jail? Why was his wife missing after the incident? Did the driver behave weirdly before the incident? Could he be lying?
2. The video showed that the truck was driving at normal speed. But how long did it take to go from Huayi village to the scene of the incident? Is it possible that the murder was pre-arranged to take place at a certain spot at a certain time?
3. Why did the passenger Huang Biao see?
4. When was the video camera at the village entrance installed? Was it able to save data previously? Was any data stored? Why was the similar video camera in neighboring Huayi village able to store data?
5. Is there an autopsy report? What did the autopsy report say? Were there broken bones or skin abrasions on the body of the deceased?
6. Is it possible to simulate the incident in order to reproduce the technical details such as the braking of the truck, the position of the body of the deceased, etc? Is it possible for the things in the photos/videos to occur?
7. Who was the first eyewitness? The security guard? Qian Liangyu? Or someone else? Who was the first to call the police?
8. According to the description of an eyewitness at the scene, the mobile telephone and cigarette of the deceased were in the back of the truck? Did they really show up there? If so, why did they show up there? How come these things cannot be seen in the video? Where are these things now?
9. Why did the deceased go to the village entrance? Who did he meet at the village entrance? How long did he stay at the village entrance?
10. According to information, villagers had refused to let China Mobile install fiber optic cables in their village and they had clashed with security guards hired by China Mobile. Did these clashes occur? If so, did Qian Yunhui participate? Could the security guards be retaliating?
11. Some villagers said that Qian Yunhui was saying that his life was in danger because he refused to take a bribe from a certain town leader. Did this happen? Who was that leader?
12. Some villagers said that certain leaders have tried to bribe Qian Yunhui many times with money and sex, but he refused. Did that happen?
13. Some villagers said that there were two or three abnormal deaths in the village before. Were these abnormal deaths?
14. Could the two eyewitnesses be changing their stories because they were scared?
15. Why did the Yueqing public security bureau secretly arrest Wang Liquan who was close to Qian Yunhui?
16. Did the driver honk his klaxon when he saw Qian Yunhui? Did anyone hear the klaxon? If he did, how far was Qian Yunhui from the truck at the time?
To declare this to be a traffic incident before these questions are cleared up is too brash?
[Comment: The majority of the information needed for these questions is already known (you can find them in the reports and comments above).]
(Beijing News) January 7, 2011.
On December 25, 2010, Zhejiang province Wenzhou city Yueqing city Zhaiqiao village former director Qian Yunhui died after being ran over by a construction truck. Netizens suspect that Qian was murdered but the police investigated and concluded that it was a traffic incident.
Recently a lawyer who handled the Zhaiqiao land requistion case and took 400,000 RMB in legal fees from the village committee was criticized by netizens as a "swindler." The netizens say that 400,000 RMB was too high. At the time, the then village director Qian Yunhui had to sell village land in order to raise the money. But the lawyer took the money and did nothing. The lawyer Zhu Xianli is now saying that he had resigned as legal representative for the village, returned some of the money already and was unaware of any land sale.
According to a popular Internet post, Qian Yunhui went to petition in Beijing before his death and signed a 400,000 RMB contract with a lawyer to represent the village in the matter of the land requisition. In order to raise the money, Qian Yunhui and most villagers signed an agreement to sell public land. They raised 710,000 RMB. Qian Yunhui was sent to prison for illegal land transfer. After Qian got out of prison, he accused the lawyer of taking the money but not doing anything.
Because of public sympathy, netizens used "human flesh search" to find the lawyer. He is Zhu Xianli with the Lianggao Law Office in Beijing.
On the day before yesterday, the netizen "Super Vulgar Butcher" claimed that he called Zhu several times about the whereabouts of the money, but Zhu refused to answer. On the last call, Zhu hung up the phone. This netizen posted Zhu's business card and the recorded telephone conversation on the Internet. He said that "the behavior of this lawyer should be deplored."
Netizens said that the lawyer ought to explain why the fee should be 400,000 RMB. Other netizens directly denounced this lawyer as having no conscience and they demanded the relevant departments to investigate him.
Yesterday, an informed Zhaiqiao villager said that Zhu Xianli came under pressure after signing the agreement and got worried that the case was not going to make any progress. After Qian Yunhui was sent to jail, some villagers told Zhu Xianli that they want to hire another lawyer and wanted him to return 300,000 yuan legal fees. Zhu said that 80,000 RMB had been turned over to the tax department already, but he could return 200,000 yuan.
This villager said Zhui Xianli returned 120,000 RMB while Qian Yunhui was in jail. So far Zhu Xianli has returned 150,000 RMB. "He called us yesterday and said that he will return another 70,000 RMB before the Chinese New Year."
Yesterday afternoon, Zhu Xianli posted on his blog. He said that someone introduced Qian Yunhui and some other village cadres to him in late 2007. They wanted him to solve their land requisition problem. He signed an agreement to represent the Zhaiqiao village committee which paid him 400,000 RMB in fees.
Zhu Xianli said that the 400,000 RMB figure was reached and agreed upon by both parties in accordance with industry practice. He said that he was unaware that the villagers had sold public land.
Here is the interview with "Super Vulgar Butcher."
Q: How did you get involved in this case?
A: I am running a volunteer organization to help people. After the Qian Yunhui incident, I went to Yueqing too. Later I read that Qian Yunhui paid 400,000 RMB in fees to a Beijing. I heard that this lawyer took the 400,000 RMB and did nothing.
Q: Why did you call the lawyer?
A: 400,000 RMB is a lot of money for farmers. I heard them say that the money was raised by the village director selling public land. I think that is scary. How can he swindle the blood-and-sweat money of the farmers? I checked with many people before I got the business card of this lawyer.
Q: Did you get what you want from the phone calls?
A: When I called him, he was very resistant and he did not want to say anything. Then I angrily scolded him. Before I even finished, he hung up the phone. This made me even angrier. Later I posted the telephone recording onto the Internet.
Q: Did you plan to post the recording before you made the call?
A: No. When I handle a case, I have the habit of retaining the evidence. I never imagined that he would have such a bad attitude. He said that he was no longer involved once the relationship was dissolved. Since he was no longer connected to that case, why should he care? I think that such a conscienceless lawyer ought to be exposed. So I even posted his business card on the Internet.
Q: Do you think that you were somewhat brash?
A: Brashness is my normal style. I feel that everything ought to be out in broad daylight. Private communication was impossible. At that moment, rationality is blind. When I called him, I was giving him the opportunity. His cold indifference should be deplored.
Q: Laywer Zhu said that he contacted you but you ignored him?
A: I saw his text messages later. But I have been busy so I did not respond to him.
Q: Have you seen Lawyer Zhu's statement in his blog?
A: Oh yeah? I didn't know.
Q: Are you worried about any consequences?
A: I am not afraid. I feel that I have been quite open. If he thinks that I said something wrong, or I libeled him, he can use the evidence to sue me. I welcome that. If I was wrong, I will apologize in public. I am responsible for what I say. If I said something wrong, I will be responsible.
Here is the interview with lawyer Zhu Xianli:
Q: Did you receive a call from a netizen the day before yesterday?
A: On the day before yesterday at sometime after 5pm, I was driving home and I called a call from a stranger with a Fujian accent. The telephone came from Guangxi province. This party said that he was a "butcher" and a volunteer. I thought that he was a swindler. He asked me about the agreement. I said that the agreement has been rescinded. Then he spoke to me in a threatening tone. I got very angry and I hung up the telephone.
Q: Did you imagine that the recorded phone conversation would be posted on the Internet?
A: I didn't imagine. When I got up in the morning, I had several text messages from netizens cursing me. I got on the Internet and searched for my own name. I found my business card and the telephone recording. Many netizens were cursing me out.
Q: How did you feel?
A: I feel bad. I am innocent. But I can understand that those netizens who don't know the truth are merely reacting normally. I know that I didn't do anything wrong so I personally feel at ease and justified.
Q: How much of the 400,000 RMB was returned?
A: 200,000 RMB had been returned. The village has to return the receipt and we have to apply for a tax refund before we can return the money to them. The village has not returned the receipt so far.
Q: Why was the agreement canceled verbally (note: and not in writing)?
A: Several of the village cadres were in prison and the village committee seal was removed. The seal is required to cancel the agreement. The village committee's bank account is frozen and they need money urgently. They have asked us many times for money.
Q: Did you contact the villagers?
A: I spoke to the villagers by phone. I want to explain something clearly. When I return the money, only several village cadres know about it. Most villagers are not aware.
Q: How are you facing the questions from the netizens?
A: I haven't had dinner yet. I am writing a statement to post on the Internet. I didn't have a blog before, but I have registered a blog just for this. I will immediately post the bank wire transfers on the Internet.
Q: Did you contact the "butcher"?
A: I sent him three text messages to tell him about the status of the refunds. I also directed him to my blog.
Q: How has this affected you?
A: Internet public opinion can crush you. If you don't explain yourself, you will be crushed to death by the Internet.
Dou Hanzhang: There is no evidence to support Qian Yunhui being pushed under the truck
Xia Yaliang: For instance, the umbrella
Dou Hanzhang: Where did the umbrella go?
Dou Hanzhang: Perhaps different people use different channels to get information
Dou Hanzhang: The umbrella was at the scene
Hu Yihu: Did you see that umbrella?
Dou Hanzhang: The fact was that the umbrella ...
Dou Hanzhang: ... was announced by the police. Therefore I say ...
Xia Yaliang: May I ask Mr. Dou whether you speak for the police?
Dou Hanzhang: I do not speak for the police.
Dou Hanzhang: You are unaware of the public information that we know.
Dou Hanzhang: Yet you believe that the information does not exist.
What is that public information that Professor Xia Yaliang is unaware of? Even the New York Times has a copy of the photo of the umbrella (from the 66wz.com Wenzhou BBS) in their story.
(South China Morning Post) Suspicion and anger grow over activist's death By Priscilla Jiao. January 11, 2011.
The pair knelt shoulder to shoulder on the cold cement in front of about 30 fellow villagers in the Puqi county market square in Yueqing city , Zhejiang .
"We're begging you to help us retrieve our father's body so we can bury him in peace," shouted 31-year-old Qian Chengxu , tears trickling down his face, as his younger sister Qian Xuling sobbed beside him
Their father was Qian Yunhui , the 53-year-old chief of Zhaiqiao village, whose six-year struggle against land requisitions ended in his suspicious death under the wheels of a heavy truck on Christmas Day.
Qian Yunhui's body was still in the hands of the local government, and no one knew when he would be released to his children. "As a son, how can I feel at ease until my father is buried?" Qian Chengxu cried.
The cause that Qian Yunhui was fighting, the circumstances surrounding his death and the government's involvement come together in one of the most vivid examples of corruption and collusion seen all too often on the mainland.
Police insist that Qian's death was nothing more than a traffic accident, a claim rejected by the few villagers willing to speak on the matter and journalists covering the case. In the words of one villager who did not want to be named, fearing reprisals, it looked like "murder and a massive cover-up".
Gruesome photos of Qian's crushed body beneath the wheel of a construction truck were posted online within 20 minutes of his death and have circulated widely on the mainland.
His death has triggered pent-up anger among villagers and internet users not only over authorities' handling of the land dispute, but also the investigation into the village chief's death. There has been no independent autopsy; Qian's family and friends and other villagers have been detained at various times, and officials have not addressed questions raised online.
Yu Jianrong , a social sciences professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the incident was part of a pattern of disputes involving land and conflicts of interests between peasants and the government, whose credibility has reached a new low.
Qian Yunhui had been in jail for 3-1/2 of the past six years for leading villagers in petitioning for proper compensation from the Yueqing city government for land on which the Zheneng Yueqing power plant was built. After serving a two-year sentence, he was released in July - the same month the power plant began operations after seven years of land acquisition and construction. Only a few days before he died, Qian received anonymous death threats for organising groups to block trucks going to the Lingang Industrial Area since December 17, according to a villager too frightened to be named.
Villagers who agreed to talk described Qian as a determined, single-minded and quick-tempered man who was not the sort to back down.
But in the same breath they described Qian as a man of principle. "He refused a two million (HK$2.34 million) yuan bribe and pretty girls offered by authorities who wanted him to stop petitioning," said another villager.
Qian's 81-year-old father, Qian Shunnan , said his son had moved his family to Zhoushan , also in Zhejiang, to breed blood clams to sell to restaurants and then to Fujian . But when he heard about the compensation issue in 2004, he returned to Zhaiqiao to help his neighbours in their fight, even though it cost him his business.
During those compensation negotiations, eight village committee members were placed under house arrest in the Yandangshan Hotel for five days in 2004 before signing a contract accepting a one-off payment of 38 million yuan, or about 10,000 yuan per villager. The land parcel totalled 146 hectares, or about 70 per cent of all their farmland, and the residents were given no say in the matter.
Lu Shaohua , director of Yueqing Land Requisition Management Centre, said the land requisition was authorised through legal channels, Sanlian Life Weekly reported.
There reportedly had been a document from the Zhejiang Provincial Development and Reform Commission saying that the villagers, in the wake of the deal, were seeking 1.89 billion yuan, but a villager close to Qian Yunhui called it "a ridiculously high figure entirely made up by the government". It was Qian's reputation and determination to seek better compensation that won him more than 2,100 out of 2,500 votes in the village chief's election in 2005.
Qian Chengxu, the son who knelt appealing to the villagers, said the family didn't understand why his father was so persistent despite being jailed three times, twice while he was serving as village chief.
"I asked my father to quit as chief because no matter what he did, he would still be blamed," the younger Qian said. "But he said people in the village had suffered massive losses."
Villagers say it was that passion for justice that ultimately cost Qian Yunhui his life.
Qian Chengxu saw the aftermath of the truck incident. "When I saw my dad I knelt down. I couldn't think. My mind went blank for a few seconds, and then I began crying aloud," he said. He last saw his father alive on December 23.
Qian Yunhui's father said he believed two witnesses who claimed they had seen three masked men in white gloves throwing his son head-first beneath the wheel of the truck.
Police say they questioned the two witnesses and that one had confessed that he had only heard the story secondhand, while the other admitted to inventing the story in the hope of making money.
There are other suspicions over how the investigation was handled. Although a roadside surveillance camera had been installed only 20 metres from the accident scene, police said it had only been there on a trial basis and had not recorded any images.
It's possible other images are available, though. Qian's fellow petitioner, Wang Liquan , was among the first to arrive at the scene and, villagers said, picked up his dead friend's mobile phone and a watch that could secretly record video. Ten hours later, Wang was detained on his way to meet a Shanghai journalist. He is still in custody.
Independent civil investigators say they have been unable to collect any evidence to challenge the official version of events.
The driver of the truck, Fei Liangyu , has been charged with a traffic accident offence, and officials have given assurances that journalists, lawyers and the public will be allowed to observe the trial.
In the meantime, only 10.6 million yuan in compensation has been turned over to Zhaiqiao village accounts. The villagers say they have not taken a penny as they regard the settlement as both illegal and undemocratic.
According to one villager, officials have frozen that money to prevent villagers funding a journey to Beijing to continue their petitioning. The Puqi town government has impounded the remaining 27.4 million yuan, claiming the villagers refused to provide a receipt.
With Qian's death, the future of any further petitioning efforts is in doubt. Qian Chengxu said there would be "no second Qian Yunhui" petitioning for more compensation.
"There is nothing more we can do," he said.
Most of the journalists who went to the village have since left. Residents say they fear being detained if they speak to the press, claiming that some who had already done so had been taken away and had not returned. "Unless you can ensure our safety, we won't tell you anything," said one villager, refusing to give his name. "We're scared to death."
Other journalists cancelled trips after authorities ordered news outlets not to cover the story, according to one mainland reporter.
On New Year's Day, seven days after Qian's death, thousands of residents of surrounding villages gathered to mourn but were stopped by hundreds of police.
According to two witnesses, some of the crowd threw stones and police detained at least 10 people.
A notice against "spreading rumours" was also put up that day, and local radio and TV have repeated the warning ever since.
Wang Zhaoyan , 51, Qian's wife of 31 years, gave interviews for two days after her husband's death, but fell and has remained silent since. She now lies in bed, talking and eating little,
Qian's family have declined donations from internet users. "My dad wouldn't like this, and we don't want to damage his reputation, either," Qian Chengxu said.
"We're poor, but we can make money as we are still young. We don't want money. We just want to know what really happened."
Authorities still have not said when they will hand over Qian Yunhui's body to his family for burial.
Chen Mingquan , a friend of Qian's and the chief of nearby Shatou village who has also been petitioning for six years over an unrelated land dispute, said the truth about Qian's death would emerge eventually, as there must be many guilty consciences.
"This scandal," he said, "is too big to cover up."
(Caing) Grisly Road Death Leaves Village in Disbelief January 10, 2011
Official reports say former Zhaiqiao village chief Qian Yunhui died accidentally while crossing a road. But villagers say he died December 25 after being forced by five police officers to lie in front of a rolling truck.
Photos allegedly from the scene that have been circulating on the Internet show a man's torso positioned beneath a truck wheel and beside a severed head.
Qian, leader of the Zhejiang Province village until 2004, once drew controversy for spearheading a campaign against government officials who allegedly expropriated land from farmers illegally. He served three jail terms for leading petition drives against the takeover of more than 140 hectares of farmland.
Witnesses say more than 50 armed police officers were deployed at the Qian death scene and clashed with villagers. Hundreds of people gathered within 10 minutes of the death, prompting the police deployment, they said.
"Where is the God?" cried one villager. "Qian was murdered by someone," said another, while a third villager waved a stick and shouted, "Let's get revenge for our village chief!"
Qian's son Qian Chengxu said he was among those gathered at the chaotic scene. He told Caixin he saw his father's body, knelt on the ground and cried. Also at the scene was the widow, Wang Zhaoyan, who cried until she fainted.
The public security bureau for the city of Wenzhou said villagers chased and attacked police who had arrived to the scene to investigate Qian's death. Relatives of the victim and some villagers tried to obstruct the investigation, a bureau statement said.
Qian's friends indeed tried to block the scene to prevent the body's removal, the son said. "Villagers surrounded my father's corpse and didn't let police move it."
But police moved in. "Police with batons beat people everywhere," said a witness.
Among those arrested were Qian's relatives. The corpse was taken to a city funeral home by police and cremated immediately.
An uproar in the village ensued. Rumors, exaggerations and near panic gripped the villagers. Some fled the community.
The dead man's son hid with his wife and children at a relative's house the night after the death. Qian's daughter and son-in-law were detained for questioning by police and returned home three days later.
No one dared approach Qian's house after the incident, and every night at 8 p.m. sharp villagers switched off their lights and went to bed.
"Our phone was monitored," said one villager. "And we could not surf the Internet or watch TV."
The official account that Qian died in a traffic accident was questioned even in the media. The China Youth Daily, for example, on December 27 reprinted questions posted on the Internet by skeptics such as, "Why was the truck travelling on the wrong side?" and "Why didn't the video camera at the intersection work?" and "Why did the truck not brake?" and "Who took away the truck driver?"
Amid suspicions, the Wenzhou Communist Party's local propaganda director, Zhang Chunxiao, tried to explain the official response at a December 29 news conference attended by more than 30 reporters.
"This is precisely a time for testing the government's ability to rule," he said. "We must evaluate ourselves because the communication channels and connections between government and public opinion are really too backward."
Officials said truck driver Fei Liangyu had accepted most of the responsibility for the traffic accident, but that Qian also bore responsibility because he crossed the road without making sure it was safe.
The Wenzhou government said it will help probe the death along with three, independent citizen investigation teams. The teams are seen as the best hope for relieving tension in the village.
Meanwhile, a government official who declined to be named said the "messed up situation" began with "a land dispute Zhaiqiao village did not resolve very well."
"Government departments are too sensitive, and their treatment is too simple and rough in response to the villagers' efforts to defend the corpse," the official said.
Another local official said he was surprised by the local reaction. "I never thought the government's credibility could be challenged and doubted so much."
The investigation teams are being led by the head of the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Yu Jianrong, as well as lawyer Xiang Hongfeng and activist Wang Xiaoshan. They've asked Yueqing officials to examine the case more carefully.
But public doubts linger. Many villagers still don't believe the story that Qian died in an ordinary traffic accident. And more than 400 villagers gathered in front of Qian's home December 30 to demand a thorough investigation.
（Wufatian's blog) January 11, 2011.
A few days ago, I was a guest on the <Yi Hu Yi Xi Tan> program on Phoenix TV during which I discussed the evidentiary issues in the case of Qian Yunhui. My viewpoint at the time was that the evidence from all sides (including the police) supports this being a traffic incident and not murder. There may be minor details which need to be verified as the process goes on. During this period, the microblog comments raged with netizens classifying the two sides as "the wall" and "the egg." I know that this analogy comes from a famous saying of Haruki Murakami: "Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg." This is a highly inflammatory statement, because people are forced to take sides when all they want is to find out the truth about the case of Qian Yunhui.
In his microblog, Li Chengpeng claimed to be an "emotional egg." He did not think that this was a simple traffic incident. His logic is based upon "perchance." There were so many coincidences that you have got to think that it was a murder. By coincidence, the television report of the crushing death in Zhumadian (Henan) appeared around this time, so he wrote "the evidence is everywhere in common knowledge." Li Chengpeng was supposed to go to Yueqing with Wang Xiaoshan and Dou Hanzhang, but he changed his mind on the night before. His reason: "Going there will only prove that the police conclusion was correct." Therefore he did not go. From start to end, he never scrutinized the evidence carefully. He merely stood on the side of the eggs and fanned the fire. You must say that he is smart. I like his writings, because he can be very touching. But I am somewhat disappointed with him in this case. If one takes sides because one wants to cater to current popular Internet opinions or because one has preferences, then we are better off without these kinds of eggs.
I have maintained contact with all the civilian/scholar investigation teams, reporters and netizens that traveled to Yueqing. Some of those who went there (including Wang Xiaoshan) actually lean towards the murder theory. Xu Zhiyong's team went there with plenty of doubts in their minds. I know that Teng Biao, Xu Zhiyong and others are unlikely to be on the side of the government. They are "eggs." Their trip involved very little contact with the government. They began with interviewing the Zhaiqiao villagers. Even so, some netizens thought that they must have followed the government-specified route and therefore they ended up with the same conclusion as the government. Xu Zhiyong and them were actually vexed by their conclusion because it was different from what they thought beforehand. This time, they agreed with the government. Certain team members proposed suppressing their findings. But as a lawyer, Xu Zhiyong ultimately announced that they have concluded that it was a traffic incident. They ended up being attacked by netizens, with someone even accusing them of taking 2 million yuan gag fee each. Conspiracy theories have their markets. The Gongmeng group has always spoke up for the eggs. This time they are attacked by the eggs. One really has to be speechless.
Tufu was different from the other groups that went to Yueqing. I approve of the courage of this "Super Vulgar Butcher." He has a strong sense of justice and he is very pro-active. But if these two elements are mixed in with ignorance, there can be major damage. I have met Tufu in person. He is even more simple, honest, good-natured and fearless. He wrote a conclusion about the Qian Yunhui case which he said that he went to Yueqing with a pre-established position and therefore he has to responsible to the netizens who donated money so that his team could go. It is said that he had almost 20,000 yuan in donations by the time that he got to Yueqing and he continued to solicit for more donations. His was the only sponsored group. Tufu who claims to have studied only to second grade in elementary school wrote about his dissatisfaction, brought up some doubts (some of whom are due to his own misunderstanding of the facts) and then he proposed a twisting, bizarre version of the incident "based upon information provided by informed sources." This conclusion has almost no connection to what he wrote before this. He scolded those investigation teams who conclusions agreed with the official version as "anti-humanitarian." This style is definitely going to popular among the grassroots. With this style, I dare say that Tufu who became famous in the Deng Yuqiao case will continue to be popular.
At the <Yi Hy Yi Xi Tan> production studio, I met another even more powerful "egg." This audience member impressed me greatly with this speech. He said, "I won't believe it ... I don't believe in anything." Since he doesn't believe in anything, who can convince him? He ought to go live in his own world.
Peking Univesity's Professor Xia Yaliang is a strong stalwart among the doubters. As a regular Phoenix TV guest, he told us about what to pay attention to during the taping of the show. He said that everybody ought to be brief, that the atmosphere ought to be free and we can even interrupt others after we have our say. But once the debate began, he disagreed with Dou Hanzhang and he immediately asked Dou whether he represented the police. When Dou Hanzhang interrupted him, he pulled his face and lectured Dou. Even after the taping was over, he kept harping. Two days later, I read his microblog post in which he said: "After seeing Dou Hanzhang's performance, I finally knew what a disgusting 'fifty-cent ganger' is." Such is the bearing of a Peking University professor who claims to advocate freedom and democracy.
On January 10, I read the letter <Application for government information disclosure> from lawyer Li Jingsong to the Wenzhou city government. He raised "108 questions related to the death of Qian Yunhui." His courage deserves to be lauded. But as a lawyer he ought to know that the <Regulations about the disclosure of government information> does not cover facts in an investigation as listed in <State Secrecry Law> Article 8 Clause 6. Maintaining confidentiality is a basic principle in crime investigations in all countries around the world. Before the trial, such information is not released in order to make sure that the investigation can proceed smoothly. Upon careful reading, many of the 108 questions fall under the <State Secrecy Law>, including some that won't even be answered during the trial. As a lawyer with a high degree of media exposure, he is definitely going to be part of the case. His essay described himself as "an expert in the relevant state laws and a senior crime/relocation/eviction lawyer who was involved in the tragic Tang Fuzhen self-immolation case and the beating death of Meng Fugui in Taiyuan (Shanxi)." He even mentioned his lawyer's office. This sort of product placement advertisement seems to be self-serving.
When a case becomes a public affair, emotions, subjectivity and symbolism inevitably enter. On the microblogs, we are all grassroots elements. But being on the side of the eggs definitely confers moral superiority. When the Yueqing investigation teams returned, those who said that it was a traffic incident were called "fifty-cent gangers" and "bought off." Conspiracy theories abound. On that day of the television program, an audience member angrily denounced forced evictions. But the case of Qian Yunhui was at most a dispute over land requisition/compensation and not forced evictions. The central point of contention is the beachhead which had nothing to do with any forced evictions.
If your prefer to call this as you think, you really don't need to look at any evidence. If you choose to distrust the evidence, it won't matter to you even if the facts are disclosed. Sima Dong said that even though the Wenzhou police took over the case, he still doesn't trust them. If the Shanghai police took over the case, he still doesn't trust them. In the end, the Ministry of Public Security takes over the case. Do you trust them? Even if INTERPOL takes over the case, you are still going to say that they were bought off. Someone suggests using third parties. The civilian/scholar teams went and most people still don't believe in their published conclusions. It is easy to raise doubts. Everybody knows how to do it. But these is only one truth. You have to rid yourself of those emotions and then you may be able to analyze the evidence in a sober manner.
On the microblogs, people accused me of being a "fifty-cent ganger." I am not angry, because they don't know me. Those who are familiar with me know that I spent more than a year defending Zhang Yuanxiang for free. Even after the judiciary department came to speak to me, I persisted because the evidence showed that Zhang Yuanxiang was innocent. I denounced the fraudulent activities of Yu Jinyong because the evidence showed that he not only posed as a Peking University professor but he also lied about the amount of his registered capital. I used my real name to make the denunciation and I was not afraid of his threats. I denounced Jin Na for lying about the "sky-high priced microblog" not because I want to support China Unicom against consumers, but because Jin Na was lying about certain key facts and the "sky-high priced microblog" did not exist. Most of the time, I seemed to be on the sides of the eggs because I seemed to be running up against the wall. But I will not choose sides. If I have to choose a side, it will be on the side of the evidence. When all the eggs say that this is a murder case, then the truck driver Fei Liangyu is an egg running up a wall consisting of the people. I am not saying that one cannot question the evidence, but if these questions can be explained by facts, then they are not real problems. At most, they can gather some more eyeballs.
During the <Yi Hu Yi Xi Tan> program, Professor Xia Yaliang asked: Qian Yunhui was carrying an umbrella at the time, so how come the umbrella was not found at the scene? The answer to this question is very simple: the photos from the scene showed the umbrella and the police released those photos, but Professor Xia did not notice it. Some people asked: Why are there no brake marks at the scene? The police had stated that the brake marks measured 5.4 meters long. But the eggs said that this mark was made by the body being dragged on the ground and not by the braking tires. The eggs said that the surveillance camera was selectively not working. The China Mobile person said that the surveillance camera was still being tested that day. The eggs therefore said that China Mobile is colluding with the police. The eggs asked why the witnesses were arrested without cause. The police said that Qian Chengyu and Wang Liquan were arrested for causing a disturbance. The police allowed Lawyer Peng Jian to meet with Qian Chengyu but the eggs still think that Qian had been "nabbed." The eggs asked why the police came to a conclusion so quickly? But people familiar with crime investigations know that the preliminary opinion of the police does not represent the final conclusion. At present, the investigation is still ongoing. Coming ahead will be the indictment and then the trial. To deliberately distort what the government is saying and then attacking them is not what the eggs should be doing. Those methods are exactly what they say the government does. Are the eggs choosing to be selectively blind, or are the so-called "behind-the-scene black hands" selectively blind? Apart from the wall and the eggs, who can calmly stand on the side of the facts?
No matter whether it is Li Chengpeng, Wang Xiaoshan, Xu Zhiyong, Xiaoshu or Tufu (they may or may not consider me to be a friend, but I think of them as debate partners and therefore I can speak directly about them. I have conversed with Wang Xiaoshan, Xu Zhiyong, Xiaoshu, Dou Hanzhang and Tufu in person. I don't talk behind people's back. If I have issues, I will bring them up under my real name for discussion. They know that I am open and they won't get mad at me. Professor Xia is the exception. Because of a difference in opinion, he called Dou Hanzhang a "fifty-cent" ganger and me "lawless". He also said that the two of us share the same rotten smell and therefore we are attracted to each other.), no matter whether they traveled to Yueqing or not, if these eggs have sufficient evidence to overturn the police conclusions, they would not have held back. They can courageously disclose their investigation results like Xu Zhiyong did. Or they can offer some evasive answers like Wang Xiaoshan and Xiaoshu for people to guess what they are thinking. At most, they can offer some doubts for which they demand further disclosure of evidence as Tufu did.
Such being the case, please permit me to pose two questions: Has anyone provided any evidence to establish that this was murder? Not yet. The eggs say that we don't have the right to investigate, because only the police can. Are the police required to disclose the details of all the evidence before the trial? Yes, or no?
Don't be impatient. Just wait until the trial. It will be an open trial.
If people will always stand with the eggs "no matter how right the wall is or how wrong the eggs are" irregardless of the truth, then the road to "rule of law" in China is a dead-end alley.
How did village head Qian Yunhui die? According to the information provided to me by an informed source (including certain previously unknown information -- although I have always advocated that everything should be revealed, I still have to observe certain rules in practice) in combination with the actual scene plus the local historical background, the driver did not intentionally drive the truck there to murder Qian Yunhui. But he lied about what happened. The police told him to lie. The reason for lying is that they want to cover up the truth that the driver saw before the village head died. Here is the information provided by an informed source, and it is quite close to what happened at the time: In January 2011, there will be a new village election in Qianzhai village. The villagers will definitely elect Qian Yunhui as their village head. In 2004, Qian was involved in the land requisition for the electricity power plant. If elected this time, he will lead the villagers to oppose the requisition of the beach head for the Lingang industrial development and causing embarrassment. The leaders may also pay attention to the 2004 land requisition for the power plant.
Therefore the government leadr named Xu called and "invited" Qian to speak. On the morning of December 25, the town leader Xu found the villager Wang (it is unknown whether this was by bribe or coercion) to call Qian and tell him to meet at the village entrance (why not go inside the village? Ho, ho, this does not have to be explained because Xu will be assaulted by the villagers if he goes in). Xu ordered his underlings to nab Qian.
At the time, Xu drove to the Zhaiqiao village entrance in the direction towards Nanyue (that is, the right hand side of the road towards Nanyue) and waited for Qian Yunhui. When Qian came over, he saw that the people in the car wanted to nab him. Therefore he ran back towards the village. He clashed with Xu and his underlings, causing his umbrella to snap (based upon the Wenzhou police investigation photo -- I am certain that the umbrella was not crushed by the construction truck). Qian fled toward the village. At that instant, the construction truck happened to be driving from Qiaozhao towards Nanyue. Since Xu's car was parked on the right side of the road, the truck had to slow down and go in the other lane. At that moment, Qian was running and slipped on the ground either because the road was slippery due to the rain or because someone shoved him from behind. So he ended up underneath the truck and got crushed by the wheel. When Xu saw what happened, he was worried about what the driver might say. So he ordered the driver and the passenger to get out and flee with him. They arrived at the Puqi city government building (which was moved to the expressway exit -- the road from Qiaozhao village was straight and easy to drive on). Xu was worried that Qian might be still alive, so he went back with the police (the Puqi border patrol station was only 500 meters from the government office). Xu arrived at the scene, got out of the car and was assaulted by the villagers. Everything after that occurred as normal. He ran away and let the police handle the matter. In the end, it led to ...
This is what the informed source told me. I agree, because there many things can cross-verify each other. ... Therefore my personal opinion is that Qian Yunhui died by manslaughter. The local government bears responsibility and therefore they want to cover it up ...
This is what I am personally leaning towards. Among my team of paparazzi, two of them disagree with the manslaughter conclusion because they think murder is even more likely since the police had been unable to provide reasonable explanations to my doubts! We understand and respect differences in opinion! But I think that based upon the information from Xu Zhiyong, Wang Xianshan and Yu Jianyong, we can exclude the possibility that Qian Yunhui was held down or beaten unconscious before being run over. But if something new shows up, it could be different!
(Southern Metropolis Weekly) Watching the "Yueqing Observer Teams" January 12, 2011.
At around 2:30pm on December 31, 2010, Yu Jianyong showed up with a book bag on his back at the home of Qian Yunhui in Zhaiqiao village, Yueqing city, Wenzhou city. His companion Fu Guoyong was carrying a video camera in his hands. Yu's fan Wang Qiang pulled a luggage case behind him.
"This was just like the Yenan observer group back then." In retrospect, Yu Jianyong could not refrain from laughing as he recalled the scene.
The villagers who were gathered in front of the Qian Yunhui home did not know who these people were. More than 60 female residents of the village knelt on the ground and complained in the local dialect while crying. On the day before, these female residents knelt for almost one hour in front of the CCTV camra.
The Zhejiang lawyer Chen Youxi who had been following the case of Qian Yunhui said: "They were far too willing to kneel without having to travel the long distance to Beijing."
Looking at Fu Guoyong's camera, Qian Yunhui's son Qian Chengxu spoke of his distrust of the government: If this is an ordinary traffic incident, why did they want to seize the body? My sister and brother-in-law were clearly detained for more than 50 hours, but they said at the press conference that it was only 23 hours ...
Qian Yunhui's second daughter Qian Xuling and her husband Zhao Xu told about their detention. Qian Xuling claimed that she was nabbed even though she was only crying by the roadside; Zhao Xu rolled up his trouser leg and showed a dark greenish bruise which he said was evidence that he was assaulted.
There were three layers of spectators inside and another three layers of spectators outside. Most of them are residents of other villages. Voices were full of expectation: "Will these videos go out?"
While those women rolled crying on the ground while tugging at Fu Guoyong's trouser legs, Fu received a telephone call from Yu Jianyong: "The situation is critical. Withdraw immediately. Based upon my experience, the villagers are pouring their emotions out. A mass incident can happen at any moment."
Xiao Shu also received the telephone call to withdraw. Their "Scholar/Civilian Yueqing Observation Team" were divided into two groups that were supposed to meet in Wenzhou that evening. By chance, these two teams came across each other at the home of Qian Yunhui.
Yu Jingyong as already sitting inside a farmer's house called Xiao Shu back as the latter headed towards the parking lot. "Tell them to withdraw immediately. If things go wrong, we can be judged the instigators of a mass incident. Do not let yourselves be trapped."
On December 28, <Southern Weekend> commentator Xiao Shu had called Yu Jingyong and asked him to lead a team of observers to Yueqing to investigate the case of Qian Yunhui. Xiao Shu thought that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences academician Yu Jingyong was the best suited person among microbloggers because of his sense of justice, his political connections and his skill in handling politics.
Yu Jingyong said that nothing can be done without government cooperation. So Xiao Shu went through media reporters to reach out to the local authorities. At the official Wenzhou government press conference on December 29 at the Jinding Hotel in Yueqing, <Beijing News> reporter Chen Ningyi raised a question: "What is your opinion about the scholar observation team headed by professor Yu Jianyong?"
The Wenzhou External Publicity Office director Zhang Chunxiao replied instantaneously: "We welcome Professor Yu Jianyong and others, including netizens, to conduct independent investigations to assist us!"
In order to "respond to the enthusiastic attitude of the Wenzhou government," Xiao Shu nominated the final "Scholar/Civilian Yueqing Observation Team": Xiao Shu; Yu Jianyong; Zhongshan Univesity Political Science/Public Administration School professor Guo Weiqing, Zhongshan University Litigation Research Institute professor Yang Jianguang; Guangdong School of Business Administration associate professor Ma Shen, history scholar Fu Guoyong (place of origin Yueqing), Shanghai National Defense Strategic Research Institute deputy director Zhao Chu, Shanghai lawyer Shi Weijiang, intellectual property rights expert Lu Wenju (who worked in criminal investigation for twenty-four years) and the media workers Chen Jieren, Pu Baoyi and Yang Haipeng.
In Xiao Shu's view, social conflicts in China always happen because the two parties stand on opposite sides and completely distrust each other. There was no third party serving as a neutral zone. In a commentary titled <It is a good thing that Wenzhou lets civilians participate in crisis management>, he wrote: "With the formation of the civilian observation team formed by Yu Jianyong and other elite, we can expect better performances in professionalism and procedural readiness."
Xiao Shu hoped to set a new model for handling public crises. He thought that this was "writing history." The history scholar Fu Guoyong also thought that he was "recording history."
The scholars were not the only ones who were "recording history."
At the same time, the completely different Wang Xiaoshan and Dou Hanzhang formed the "low-level netizen observer team." These two are renowned Sina.com microbloggers. Wang Xiaoshan is a columnist while Dou Hanzhang is a finance commentator. Before going to Yueqing, the two agreed: they will respect the facts, they will explore the truth and they will each have their own say.
By coincidence, on the December 30, 2010 flight from Beijing to Wenzhou, Wang Xiaoshan encountered an acquaintance Xu Zhiyong. Lawyer Xu was leading his own team of obvservers. On that day, the netizen Wu Gan (nickname "Tufu" or "The Butcher") also planned to go to Yueqing.
The first team to show up at the village entrance was Xu Zhiyong's team.
In the afternoon of December 30 last year, Xu Zhiyong spoke to an old man at random. After probing that the Beijing-dialect speaker Xu Zhiyong was not with the government, the old man directed Xu Zhiyong, his team member Liu Shasha, lawyer Peng Jian and Zhang Yongpan to a second floor room where he produced a sack full of petition materials that Qian Yunhui prepared before his death.
Over the next several hours, other villagers came and went through the back door of this house. They brought along Qian Chengyu's mother. Qian Chengyu was an eyewitness and he was taken away the next day and detained on suspicion of "causing a public disturbance."
Qian Chengyu's house was barren. The child is attending first year elementary school. He lives with his 76-year-old mother.
Qian Chengyu's mother quickly signed a client agreement with lawyer Peng Jian. This wrinkled old lady held the hand of each person and used her incomprehensible local dialect to thank everyone.
While Xu Zhiyong was working in the village, the scholars were still contacting the government. On the morning of December 31, 2010, Xiao Shu contacted Wenzhou External Publicity Office director Zhang Chunxiao. Zhang let them approach the Yueqing public security bureau directly.
Next, Shi Weijiang called the Wenzhou City Public Security Bureau spokesperson Huang Xiaozhong, the Public Security Bureau director Ye Hanbing, Wenzhou City vice mayor Peng Jiaxue who is in charge of public security, Wenzhou City Party Secretary Chen Deyong and others. All those telephones were either turned off or automatically forwarded. Nobody could be reached.
So they came up with the next proposal: When they enter the village, Xiao Shu would go to the home of Qian Yunhui while Shi Weijiang would go to the families of Qian Chengyu and Wang Liquan to offer legal assistance. Wang Liquan was another key villager who was arrested and convicted with village director Qian Yunhui. Wang did not participate in the clash with the police over the seizure of the body and he was not an eyewitness. He was nabbed on the night of December 25 and his family has received no notice. According to his family and villagers, Wang was nabbed when he arranged to meet with reporters that night.
Shi Weijiang told the family of Wang Liquan that he wants to provide legal assistance to them. Shi Weijing introduced himself and he told them that they can look up his name on the Internet.
The Wang family was very anxious about lawyers. Previously the villagers had been swindled by lawyers during the petitioning process. A letter of accusation left behind by Qian Yunhui claimed that a lawyer named Zhu with the Beijing City Lianggao Law Office took 400,000 yuan in legal fees while saying that he guaranteed that he will win the case because he has friends inside the State Land Resources Bureau. In 2008, Qian Yunhui was arrested for petitioning and he called Zhu repeatedly. Zhu refused to help.
Our reporter contacted the Lianggao Law Office. The director there said that he had heard about this, but he would not provide the contact information for lawyer Zhu.
Shanghai intellectual property right lawyer and Jing'an District People's Congress representative Shi Weijiang calls his blog "Changing China through action." He said that he joined this observation team because he had "hope." He agrees with Xiao Shu that they are inventing a new model for civilians to independent participate in a public crisis for later reference.
He drafted a set of rules for the observation team. After revisions by Xiao Shu, these rules were known in brief as the "Eight Yueqing promises": Independently and objectively providing a third-party investigative report; not representing any interest groups; examining the fairness of the process and exploring for the truth, but not promising to deliver the truth; not pursuing media exposure, but not refusing to be open; reporting the opinions of all members in the report, including dissenting views; not declaring personal or views to the outside without authorization; paying own way; making internal decisions in accordance with democratic principles and conducting meetings using Robert's rules.
Around noon on December 31 last year, these rules were sent out to some of the team membres. That afternoon after the scholars left the village to return to the hotel, Shi Weijiang brought up the "Eight Yueqing promises" again. He hoped that the proposal can be approved by everyone. But Yu Jianyong objected.
Yu Jianyong's principle is that he never signs any rules and he never joins any organization. "Brother, you are just boxing yourself in."
Yu Jianyong's propposal was opposed by Shi Weijiang's faction. Yu thought that "the situation is highly critical" and they can sensibly retreat with each receiving a set of materials about the land case to study back home. The next day would be the seventh day after the death of Qian Yunhui and Yueqing is going to be in the eye of a storm. The team ought to go to Yandang Mountain and hold a meeting to discuss the land issue.
The professors agreed to postpone the investigation on the traffic incident. Yu repeatedly emphasized his viewpoint: As an observation team, they do not have investigative capabilities. The background behind the case of Qian Yunhui is a land problem and he wanted to focus on that.
The debate continued until past 8 o'clock. In the end, everybody voted yes on the motion to have dinner.
On that evening, Shi Weijiang, Xiao Shu, Chen Jieren and Pu Baoyi discussed setting two smaller investigative teams. The first team would investigate the truth about the traffic death, with Xiao Shu as the contact person. The second team would investigate the truth about the land requisition, with Yu Jiangyong as the contact person. They also amended the rules and gave an estimate of 3 days to complete the original goals. If not, they would state just what was not completed and what the obstacles were.
At around 3pm the next day, Pu Baoyi and Chen Jieren returned to the New Century Hotel from Zhaiqiao village to meet with the professors. Pu Baoyi said that he wanted to inspect the truck involved in the incident. Fu Guoyong provided the contact with the publicity department saying that it was his private connection. He asked Pu Baoyi to proceed there as a reporter and not as part of the observation team. There was an argument.
Ma Shen said that they ought to seek the largest common denominator of all the demands. "Mainly we have to consider safety and to not leave room for criticism." Guo Weiqing who had maintained silence so far agreed with Ma Shen and said that everyone should say the same things.
Two students accompanied Guo Weiqing on this trip. This Public Administration expert wanted to observe the government action at close range and raise questions in order to reduce the conflict. But he was later concerned: "I don't care what happens to me, but I cannot let it affect the future of my two children."
Fu Guoyong said that he has learned from many channels that "We are in the eye of a historical storm. Each of our choices will be accountable in history. It will require a high degree of wisdom. This is the first time that civilians have participated as a third party in a public incident. The handling of this case will provide a new model for peaceful transition. If we fail, we won't be able to bear the historical burden. If we cannot even agree on this point, then Chinese intellectuals won't be able to achieve anything in one hundred years."
Pu Baoyi said that the two sides had different assessments of the situation. As an investigative reporter, he can see one after another storm eye.
Chen Youxi believed that the local Yueqing authorities gave the observation teams a lot of psychological pressure. "Fu Guoyong is originally from Yueqing. He has good social ties and he can learn the truth. But it would be better for him not to participate because he has to consider the conditions of himself and his local friends and relatives afterwards."
Fu Guoyong's view was that "the risks are particularly great, more than anything that I have ever experienced." Therefore, he had already taken on a certain burden just be being there. "Everything should be based upon Teacher Yu's observations."
On the evening of December 30, 2010, Wang Xiaoshan got debriefed by reporters about the local situation. Wang Xiaoshan invited the reporters to dinner. The enthusiastic Yueqing City Publicity Department director Yang Youcai showed up and rushed to pay the bill. But Yang Youcai was unable to respond to the four demands of the two-person team: (1) to watch the surveillance video tapes taken all along the route; (2) to meet with the security guards at the scene; (3) to view the photos that the police took at the scene; (4) to let Dou Hanzhang meet with the police captain who was injured by the villagers.
The next morning, Wang and Dou went to the power plant and the Linfang Industrial Zone to ask about the security guards without any success. They felt helpless. Wang Xiaoshan let Dou Hanzhang call Yang Youcai and say "the villagers are all calling this a murder. If you don't arrange for us to meet with the witnesses, we can only report what the villagers are saying."
Director Yang quickly responded and gave the telephone number of the Political Department deputy director named Lin. Deputy director Lin said that they can watch the video and interview the security guards. But he had to get clearance if they want to take the police photos.
Compared to the directness of Wang Xiaoshan, the scholar team was more subtle. On the evening of December 31, the scholar team discussed an open letter of recommendations that would be 100 to 200 words long to ask the government to pay attention to public opinion as well as to hold a dialog with their team. "We can be humble in our wording, but this is a moral act."
After discussing the wording of the recommendation letter, someone suggested distributing it via microblogs. But the dissenting opinion was, Are you going to "upset" the government if you don't even tell them?
At this point, Xiaoshu said: "The government has acknowledged our status. The police don't want to meet with us, but the Yueqing publicity department deputy director couldn't wait to see us."
That evening, the Yueqing city publicity department director came over to visit. At the same time that the scholar team handed the open letter with recommendations to the government, they also posted it on their official microblog. They urged the Yueqing city party/government to begin dialogue with the family of the deceased and the villagers as soon as possible before the case deteriorates even further.
On the next day, the seventh day after the death of Qian Yunhui, the scholars avoided the eye of the storm. Xiao Shu stayed in Wenzhou while professor Yu Jianyong and others stayed at the New Century Hotel.
Though far away from the eye of the storm, the scholar team was playing games with the police's official "Peaceful Yueqing" microblog. "Peaceful Yueqing" claimed, "Based upon the information on hand as well as the recommendations of a third party investigation team, the police will impose traffic control on certain road sections with regard to commemorative activities. The police will be mobilizing to maintain order at the scene." The official blog of the scholar team replied: "The so-called third party investigation team has nothing to do with this team."
But the were unable to initiate a dialog with the government. On December 31, 2010, the scholar teams said that the government will speak with the scholar teams the next day. On the next day, they said that the dialog would be postponed until the third day. On the third day, the scholar team left.
Chen Youxi believed that it was understandable that "no independent investigation can work solely on the basis of civil rights." There had to be support by the public authority.
As early as 5pm on December 31, 2010, Xu Zhiyong had already typed out his basic conclusions on the computer: This was an ordinary traffic incident. Due to the emotions involved in the government versus the people and because the lack of trust in the government, it became a public incident. After this report was released, a team member Zhang Yongpan public accused Xu Zhiyong of being "hasty" and offered 16 doubts. Certain members of the scholar team also thought that the conclusions by the Xu Zhiyong team were hasty.
On the same day, the two-person team of Wang Xiaoshan said that they did not find any evidence that would say that this was a murder case or a simple traffic incident. Wang Xiaoshan said frankly on his microblog: "Personally, I lean towards the latter." So he became a "high-class fifty-cent ganger" in the words of netizens.
On the night of January 1, the dinner arrangement among the scholar team was very delicate. Those with media background sat around one table while the professors were missing. After the dinner, Xiao Shu got a call from the professors to ask him to go alone to the New Century Hotel.
More than one hour later, Xiao Shu returned and announced: "The first phase of the Scholar/Citizen Yueqing Observation team consisted of field work. This is currently over. The members will be receiving materials about the land issue in the case of Qian case and they will return to study separately."
On the morning of the next day, the scholar team got ready to leave. They gave the Yueqing city publicity department deputy director who was waiting outside a copy of <Certain recommendations concerning the case of the death of Yueqing city Puqi town Zhaiqiao village director Qian Yunhui and the land disputes>. In front of the media, Yu Jianyong praised the smooth communication with the authorities on this occasion. He also said that the Yueqing trip will be a major topic for the land system research at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences that he, Ma Shen, Guo Weiqing and Yang Jianguang lead.
"I am only interested in the land issue." On returning to Beijing on January 2, Yu Jianyong finished reading the land-related materials that the Yueqing farmers provided him. He had originally come on this trip to observe a mass incident.
In retrospect, Yu Jianyong who is used to operating solod said: "I have observed several mass incidents in person. I know how to use photography equipment and to introduce myself. Many of those observers present there did not have the experience of dealing with these types of incidents."
On January 1, the police were dispersing the crowd in Zhaiqiao village. They found Liu Shasha, a member of Xu Zhiyong's observer team, filming with her mobile phone. The mobile phone card was snapped in half. Shortly afterwards, two Yueqing policemen invited Liu Shasha for a chat. They asked her repeatedly why she still wants to investigate the land issue. Previous, "Tufu" Wu Gan had been turned back. Late at night on January 2, Zheng Chuangtian, a member of Tufu's team of volunteers, was forced to undergo a drug test in Yueqing because the police suspected him of taking drugs. The test turned out to be negative.
In the view of Shi Weijiang, the Yueqing police was nice to certain media and certain observer teams, but they were unfriendly to other media, villagers and certain civilian observers. There was some sort of selective law enforcement. The local government also appeared to be selective in producing evidence.
Shi Weijiang is still trying to provide legal assistance to Wang Liquan and the truck driver Fei Lianyu. The family of Wang Liquan is anxious about hiring a lawyer from the outside. On January 3, a lawyer from Shi Weijiang's office asked the family of Wang Liquan to ask the Wenzhou Public Security Bureau about hiring a lawyer. Although the Senior Citizens Association in Zhaiqiao village met, discussed and approved the action, nobody dared to send this request over to the public security bureau in person. In the end, it was sent out by mail.
On January 3, Xiao Shu met Chen Youxi in Hangzhou. Chen said: "It is understandable. It was the first time."
For Chen Youxi, the observation of the Yueqing incident was destined not to go smoothly right from the beginning. "A real investigation must reply on public authority. But this does not mean that this type of participation and passion were completely meaningless. The Yueqing action showed that Chinese public intellectuals have their conscience awakened as well as a crisis for public authority. It showed that the Chinese social value has shifted from authority to truth, and power can no longer manipulate social judgment."
(Wang Keqin's blog) The investigation records of China Economic Times reporter Liu Jianfeng. January 13, 2010.
At 9am or so on December 25, 2010 at the entrance to Zhaiqiao village, Puqi town, Yueqing city, Zhejiang province, 53-year-old old former village diredtor Qian Yunhui was found dead under the left front wheel of a heavy Jiefang brand loader-truck with license plate Anhui K5B323.
Since the deceased Qin Yunhui had been petitioning for many years, and his body was in what villagers regard as a peculiar position, and since the eyewitness Qian Liangyu insisted that it was murder, the villagers wanted to preserve the scene and set up a criminal investigation. But the police determined that this was a traffic incident and wanted to clear the scene. So there was a clash between the police and the villagers that day. This was what the villagers called "the seizing of the body" incident which drew the attention of the whole world.
On December 29, this China Economic Times reporter arrived in Zhaiqiao village. Over eight days, he obtained exclusive interviews with several eyewitnesses who were at the scene. This article contains mainly the investigative records with those witnesses at the scene.
1. The scene (based upon the information released by the police and the photos provided by the family of the deceased)
The truck driver Fei Liangyu, male, born on August 29, 1979, resident of the Donghai brigade, Zhangzhuang village, Huangqiao town, Yingshang county, Anhui province. The police found that he was driving without a permit. The Jiefang brand construction truck with license number Anhui K5B323 is a loader truck registered to the Changshun Motor Transportation Limited Company in Yingshang county, Anhui province. The actual owner is Fei Liangyu. The truck is insured.
In the photos, the deceased is found to be have his chest pressed against the ground. His neck was under the left front wheel. His internal organ tissues have spilled out to his neck and shoulders. His left shoulder is thrust out. His rear end is slightly raised underneath the bottom of the vehicle. His lower limb is bent. His right knee and the top of his lower right leg touched the ground. The tip of his right foot also touched the ground.
The section of the road is 16 meters wide, of which 1/4 on the right was occupied by some assorted materials. The road surface was wet due to rain. The photos and the videos from the scene showed that the deceased lying underneath the left front wheel which had gone out of the hardened portion of the road. The left front wheel had left a mark on the soil. There was some loose soil about 15 mm high plowed up by the wheel underneath the neck of the deceased. There were no other obvious marks left by the other wheels.
According to the photos from the scene, the top half body of the truck was painted in orange/red. There were no scrape marks on the front orange/red part of the truck.
According to the information released by the police, there was a scrape mark on the black safety bumper in front of the truck. There was also a scrape mark near the front axle underneath the truck. The rib of the umbrella used by the deceased was partially flattened. According to the police analysis, the left side of the body of the deceased collided with the front bumper of the truck, so that the body fell down on the right side and was dragged forward by the truck whereupon death occurred.
On December 26, the Yueqing traffic police division asked the Wenzhou Changxun Motor Judicial Appraisal Business Office to examine the truck involved in the incident. On the afternoon of December 29, the appraisal results were sent to the family of the deceased Qian Yunhui. There were four points:
1. The testing of the loaded truck showed that the braking capabilities were poor; the testing of the empty truck showed that the braking capabilities were normal.
2. The steering system operated normally.
3. The weight of the loaded truck was 60,020 kilograms (that is, 60.02 tonnes)
4. Due to insufficient information for appraisal, the speed of the truck at the time of the incident cannot be calculated.
There was a round-shaped street video surveillance camera right across the road from the spot of the incident. On that day, the police told the villagers that this camera was still being tested and did not have the capability to record any videos.
2. The deceased Qian Yunhui
Qian Yunhui, born on October 24, 1957. Elementary school education.
On April 12, 2004, Qianzhai villagers became unhappy with how the village committee handled the land requisition for the Zhenjiang Energy Electric Power Plant and held a meeting to call back the village committee. Qian Yunhui began de facto to direct village affairs.
On April 26, Qian Yunhui and villagers Wang Liquan and Qian Chengqian went to petition in Beijing to defend their rights. They were intercepted and brought home. On April 28,the villagers blocked the government office building and demanded to release their people. There was a bloody clash with the police with many villagers being injured.
On March 10, 2005, Qian Yunhui was sentenced to 18 months in prison for assembling a crowd to create a disturbance. The sentence was suspended for a two-year probation period.
In April 2005, Qian Yunhui was elected village director.
In July 2008, Qian Yunhui went to Beijing to petition. He was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison.
In 2008, the villagers boycotted the new village director election. The Zhaiqiao village committee did not change as scheduled.
In April 2010, Qian Yunhui was still serving time in prison. The Puqi town government tried to get the villagers to elect representatives and production brigade leaders, but the villagers boycotted those elections.
[December 29, 2010 morning; at Qian family house; villager Qian Fei (pseudonym)]
"The government wanted to hold the elections in April because they were afraid that the villagers would elect Qian Yunhui as village director again when he gets out of prison. After getting out of prison in July 2010, Qian Yunhui continued to lead the way to defend our rights."
"On December 17, 2010, Qian Yunhui led the villagers to demand satisfactory compensation when 38 mu of land was requisitioned in order to expand the road from 8 meters wide to 16 meters wide. Since they got no results, the villagers went to prevent the laying of cables by the roadside. They blocked the construction trucks loaded with soil/rocks from passing through. This affected the interests of multiple parties. On December 21, they clashed with the auxiliary police and two villagers were arrested. Beginning December 21, more than one hundred security guards wearing auxiliary police uniforms patrolled near the village entrance day and night."
[January 1, 2011; at Qian family house; Qian Yunhui's wife Wang Zhaoyan]
"A week before his death, he got a document which he said was evidence that a cadre broke the law. The document had the seal of the cadre who was stationed in the village. He went to see the vice town mayor who was stationed in the village. I grabbed his hand and told him not to go, not to let them see the document. But he went anyway."
"In the past, the relationship between the two was not very bad. But on that day, Qian Yunhui slammed the document in front of vice mayor Xu and the two quarreled."
"Several months ago, Xu Xiangzhong came to see me and offered to take care of the family debts that were incurred as a result of the petition activities, plus all my medical bills as well as wage subsidies for Qian Yunhui. I said, 'What about the matter of villagers being beaten?' He said, 'You stay away from that.' When Qian Yunhui heard that, he said to me: 'You better be clear in your head!'"
"Some time ago, someone say that the higher-ups wanted to give him a sum of money so that he won't do anything anymore. Qian Yunhui refused. But Qian Yunhui did not tell me about this himself."
"He was very stubborn. He also knew that he was in danger. During the week before his death, he did not leave the village on his own because he was afraid of being killed. He did not sleep at home during the days before he died. He did not take telephone calls from anyone except for two persons. One is Wang Lequan with whom he petitioned together. The other is vice mayor Xu."
"At around 9am on the morning of the 25th, Qian Yunhui got a phone call. He walked out of the door while still speaking ..."
[December 29, 2010 press conference; the official information given to reporters]
Qian Yunhui was elected as village director in 2005. Previously he had served 8 months of prison in 1992 for intentionally injuring another person. In 2005, he was sentenced to 18 months for disrupting social order with a two year suspension. In 2008, he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for illegal land transfer. He was released on July 22, 2010.
3. The handling of the scene and the detention of the witnesses
[December 29, 2010 morning; Zhaiqiao village, the Qian family house; Qian Yunhui's youngest daughter Qian Xuling]
"I got to the scene before 11am. There were a lot of people, there were traffic police."
"The villagers surrounded the scene. They preserved the scene and demanded to set up a criminal case."
"My mother kept crying. My mother has always been in poor health. In the afternoon, I went to the hospital to get some intravenous drip for my mother. A lot of police officers had the scene surrounded. I was on the outside. I asked the police to make way for me to enter. I said that I am a family member. They arrested me."
"At the police station, they said that the street surveillance camera recorded villagers assaulting people. I said, 'You couldn't record how my father died in the morning. But a little while after he died, you were able to record villagers assaulting people?'"
[December 29, 2010 afternoon; Zhaiqiao village, the Qian family house; Qian Yunhui's son-in-law Zhao Xu]
"The villagers were trying to prevent the scene from being disrupted. Someone said to wait for reporters to come and take photos. At 4pm, I was grabbed behind my neck. If I moved, I got hit by a police baton. After my statement was taken, I was locked up in the detention center. I was beaten in the restroom. I went to the restroom three times and I was beaten twice. I asked to call my family and I was taken to the restroom and beaten again."
[December 29, 2010 morning; Zhaiqiao village, the Qian family house; Qian Yunhui's cousin]
"By the time that I arrived on the morning of December 25, the traffic police had already arrived at the scene. They arrived around 9:50am. After 10am, the traffic police said that this was a traffic incident. Therefore the police would take the truck away while the family would take the body. I disagreed. The villagers said that this was murder -- Qian Chengyu told the traffic police at the scene that he personally witnessed several persons tussling each other on the road. He thought that they were just horsing around. The truck came over slowly and one person was crushed underneath the truck. He approached and he saw that it was Qian Yunhui -- I demanded to see the street surveillance video. I went with the traffic police to the police station. They refused. They wouldn't even let the traffic police go in."
"The people at the police station said that some of their officers were assaulted by villagers. The street surveillance camera recorded it."
"Back at the scene, the captain said to go to the traffic police office to watch the video. After I got to the city, it took several hours to take my statement. I finally got permission. But when the computer was started, there was no video information. They said that that street video was not hooked up."
"Back to the scene again. It was after 2pm. The body and the truck were still in the original location. More than 80 special police officers armed with batons and shields were nearby. Everybody from the village was there. The villagers surrounded the scene and did not budge. The security division head Hou Jinhai came in plainclothes. He was recognized. Villagers attacked him and injured him. At around 4pm, more than 1,000 police officers came with together with 11 police dogs. More than a dozen villagers were seized."
"The scene was dismantled. The truck and the body were taken away."
"Qian Chengyu was an eyewitness at the scene. He was taken away the next day."
[December 29, 2010 afternoon; Wanzhai village, Puqi town; home of Qian Chengfeng; Qian Chengfeng]
"I am the sister of Qian Chengyu. On that day, Qian Chengyu told me that he was somewhat faraway. He saw four men tussling with one man, throwing him on the ground. He thought that they were horsing around. Then he saw a truck came over very slowly, very slowly to crush that person to death."
"He went over to take a look and saw that it was Qian Yunhui who was dead. He was so scared that he went weak in his legs. He did not notice how the four persons ran off. Then he saw the driver and another person got out of the truck and ran away. He yelled, "Help! The villager director has been crushed to death!" He gave chase after the driver but did not catch him."
"He did not dare sleep at home that night. He came to my home. Around 4pm on December 26, he came to my shop to help put up a sign. Then he went back. I went home at 5pm and I made dinner. I went upstairs to get him. I found that the television set in his room was on but he was not there. All night his mobile telephone was off. The mobile telephone was on again between 9am and 11am on December 27, but nobody answered."
"On the afternoon of December 27, someone told me that he saw Qian Chengyu at the town government office. He had handcuffs and leg shackles on him."
[6pm, December 29, 2010; Qian Chengyu's home; Qian Chengyu's mother Wang Suihua]
"Qian Chengyu is 46 years old. He has never liked to lie from a young age."
"On that day he did not tell me directly. He told the police at the scene. He said that he saw several persons fighting with one person, knocking him down until a car came over to crush the person to death. He went over and then saw that it was Qian Yunhui."
"That day Qian Chengyu was very scared. He kept going uneasily between the road and the home."
"He did not dare sleep at home that night. He went over to his sister's home. The next day he disappeared. On December 27, someone told me that Qian Yunhui was arrested. He was at the town government office, in handcuffs and leg shackles."
[December 31, 2010. The family of Qian Chengyu was notified that he had been detained at 9am on the morning of December 27 on suspicion of assembling a crowd to cause a disturbance]
[22:55 December 29, 2010 Wenzhou police press conference]
The Wenzhou public security bureau reported that the two police officers who were dispatched to the scene to investigate the incident were assaulted by the villagers and sustained multiple injuries. The family of the deceased and other villagers set up a mourning hall at the scene, erected illegal road blocks and interfered with the police in their investigation.
"The first witness Qian Chengyu did not see anyone deliberately running over someone to cause him to die and he did not spread any rumors. The reason why the first witness Qian Chengyu has been detained was that when certain villagers who did not know the truth assaulted the police officers, he was one of the participants."
4. Investigation records of the eyewitnesses at the scene
[Recording by Qian Chengyu]
On December 30, 2010, this China Economic Times reporter obtained a tape recording from a villager named Wang. This recording was made at 10:42 on December 25 and runs for 1 minute 47 seconds. Many different voices can be heard, all speaking the local dialect. According to the villagers, the indistinct basso male voice belongs to Qian Chengyu.
The villager named Xu translated some of the audible sentences: "I was standing on the left side of the vehicle. He was on the right side. The vehicle is so big. I couldn't see ... there was nothing that I can do. The security guards took away. The security guards blocked me so that I could not get ..."
On December 31, a civilian investigation team also obtained this recording. On this tape, what they heard Qian Chengyu said was: "I stood there. Yunhui was already turned over. He tripped. I don't know if anyone is inside the vehicle."
The villager named Wang who supplied the recording said that it was made while talking to the traffic police. The conversation lasted a lot longer than two minutes, but he only recorded 1 minute 47 seconds of it. He was afraid of drawing attention so he did not record too much of it. He did not imagine that Qian Chengyu would be nabbed.
[Qian Chengyu was interviewed in the detention center by Legal News Daily and CCTV]
On December 29, Qian Chengyu was interviewed by CCTV and said: "The road was more than 16 meters wide. I observed from four to five meters away that the vehicle had moved 60 to 70 centimeters ..."
He was also interviewed in the detention center by Legal News Daily. On December 30, Legal News Daily reported: "Qian Chengyu said: '... the government took the land away and gave back so little money. We disagreed. The village director led the opposition. He was murdered because of this.' The reporter asked whether he was just speculating and what was the evidence. Qian Chengyu said: 'The vehicle was driven to the other side of the road without braking. Isn't this murder? It is 100% murder.'"
[Huayi village resident Huang Diyan testifies publicly]
According to a December 29 Dongfang Zaobao report, Huang Diyan came at 4pm on December 28 to the spot at the Zhaiqiao village entrance where Qian Yunhui died. She told everybody that she was returning from the buddhist temple at around 930am. She personally saw three persons wearing black surgical masks and white gloves holding Qian Yunhui down on the ground. Two of them were twisting his arms behind his back. When she went over to try to stop them, one of them pushed her aside. A construction truck parked on the side came over slowly and ran over the body of Qian Yunhui. The driver, the passenger and the murderers got into a van and fled.
At 9am on December 29, Qian Yunhui's cousin said: "The husband of Huang Diyan said that she is not right in her head so people shouldn't believe her. But the villagers at the scene said that she showed clear logic and quite alert. She did not seem to have mental problems."
At noon on December 30, the husband of Huang Diyan told the China Economic Times reporter that a relative of Huang Diyan got a call from the police at 6pm on December 28. At 9am on December 29, he and Huang Diyan were taken down to the public security bureau. They were released to go home at 1:30 on December 30.
[December 29 evening, CCTV interviewed Huang Diyan at the public security bureau]
"Someone told me to perform a good deed so that my daughter could get better and me too. I asked what kind of good deed? He said that someone was murdered. His hands were held back, his neck was grabbed, he kept yelling Help! Help! I did not see it. But these men told me to say that I saw it, to testify to it. If the testimony leads to a victory, my daugher will get better. So I testified."
[12:00 December 30, Huayi village Huang Diyan's home]
Huang Diyan's husband Wang Shigao said that they were released at 1:30am. Before being released, they were interviewed on television. Since she had already said that she did not see it, there was nothing more to say. He refused to let the China Economic Times reporter enter. The reporter promised not to ask any questions. He only wanted to see the physical condition of Huang Diyan. He was allowed to enter.
Noon, Huang Diyan's home, second floor, Huang Diyan was lying in bed on her side, Wang Shigao raised the two blankets on her shivering body. Huang Diyan is fully clothed, shivering with her whole body with both hands on her mouth.
As Wang Shigao escorted the reporter out, he said that he cannot talk anymore about this incident because his entire family can be dead.
["New eyewitness #1" claimed to have witnessed the entire incident. He has signed a confidentiality agreement with our reporter. He guarantees that he will testify with a central government investigation team to the effect that he personally witnessed how Qian Yunhui was murdered.]
On December 30, the China Economic Times reporter located "New eyewitness #1". The reporter offered a confidentiality agreement in which he promised not to disclose the identity, occupation and name in newspapers, Internet and other public venues. In turn, he signed a letter of guarantee to the China Economic Times reporter that he will testify for the central government investigation team (under the assumption that his personal safety will be guaranteed) that he personally witnessed how Qian Yunhui was murdered.
"New eyewitness #1" said that he came to Zhaiqiao village to visit a friend. He entered the village from the direction of the snack shop and headed in the direction of Nanyue town in parallel with the road (separated by a row of houses). When he got near the village entrance, he witnessed the murder of Qian Yunhui.
"At 9:25pm, a construction truck was parked about 5 meters away from where Qian Yunhui died. There was no one in the truck at the time."
"The murder took just two minutes or so."
"9:30-9:33 was when it occurred."
"Four men wearing helmets and blue SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics team) police uniforms with no badge numbers knocked Qian Yunhui down with their police batons. They held him down and then waved the truck to come over slowly. The two persons on one side quickly dashed away from the vehicle, while while the other two persons held down the other side of the body. There were more than 20 other persons wearing SWAT police uniforms behind the truck. The truck ran over the body. Two men came from behind the truck to see if death occurred. By this time, Qian Chengyu had arrived at the front of the truck. Qian Chengyu yelled, Who is this? Who is this?"
"The driver got out of the vehicle, took out his mobile phone and called the police."
"The driver was taken away."
"The other people in police uniform stopped Qian Chengyu from giving chase to the driver."
"I saw four eyewitnesses who arrived at the scene. Qian Liangyu was not the first eyewitness. The first one was a woman. She interjected but one of the persons wearing special police uniform pushed her away. Twenty seconds after she appeared, Qian Liangyu showed up. About twenty-five seconds after Qian Liangyu arrived, a third eyewitness appeared. Another fifteen seconds later, a fourth eyewitness appeared."
"New eyewitness #1" was unwilling to state how many persons were inside the construction truck or who they were. He said that he did not see the faces of the four persons wearing special police uniforms clearly, and he did not notice whether they were wearing surgical masks and gloves.
The reason why he had not come out yet to provide evidence was that he happened:
"When an eyewitness testified publicly that it was murder, the police did not immediately set up an investigation. Instead, they sent in a lot of police to mess up the scene. The eyewitness Qian Lianyu was arrested and the family of Huang Diyan is facing death threats. I do not trust the Yueqing, Wenzhou and Zhejiang police. Only if a central government investigation team comes down and the personal safety of my whole family is guaranteed will I testify to this team."
[January 1, 2011 afternoon; Nanyue town; "New eyewitness #2"]
"New eyewitness #2" is a Nanyue town resident.
"On that day, I was returning home from outside and I was passing through Zhaiqiao."
"I saw the scene. There were men wearing blue uniforms in the front and back of the vehicle. Someone was screaming 'Help' while giving chase in the direction of the back of the vehicle. I went close to take a look and saw that Qian Yunhui's leg was still twitching. I said, 'Why aren't you helping him?' The men in blue uniform retreated towards the back of the vehicle. An elderly woman was crying on the side: 'There is no justice under heaven You have killed a living person.' Another woman told her to stop crying and leave. A man wearing slippers came by, took a look and left."
[January 2, 2011 morning; Zhaiqiao town; "New eyewitness #3"]
"It was just past 9:30am. I heard Qian Chengyu yelling. So I ran over to the road."
"I saw Qian Chengyu giving chase for several dozen meters and then turning back. I went over to the vehicle. Our village mayor Qian Yunhui had been crushed to death. There were two women on the side. They said that they had just gone to worship at the temple. I did not notice whether anyone else was around. I only learned Huang Diyan's name after she came out to testify."
"All the villagers came out. I did not notice when the two women left. Qian Liangyu told everybody that he personally witnessed several people knock Qian Yunhui down. The vehicle came over very slowly very slowly and crushed the village mayor to death. He said that two persons came out of the vehicle. One was the driver, the other was the town vice mayor Xu Xiangzhong. I said, 'Qian Chengyu, are you sure? Do not lie.' Qian Chengyu said, 'I personally saw it. I don't care if I die!'"
[January 3, 2011 morning; Licun village; "New eyewitness #4"]
On the morning of January 3, 2011 at Huaqiu village, "New eyewitness #4" told the China Economic Times reporter:
"The vehicle was not going there. It was parked there before the incident."
"I was by the roadside that day. The vehicle did not pass by the road in front of me after 930pm."
"I saw it. It was parked there until it happened."
"Right now nobody dares to speak out. If you tell the truth, they accuse you of manufacturing rumors and they arrest you. I have to wait until the central government team comes before I testify."
[December 30, 2010 noon; Qian family home; "New eyewitness #5"]
"It was Christmas that day. The church rented a bus to go from Hongqiao to Nanyue for the followers to go for free. I headed toward the road to take the free bus."
"As I got near, I heard Qian Chengyu calling for help and saying that the village chief had been run over. I hurried over. I saw several dozen security guards backing away. Qian Chengyu was giving chase but the security guards were blocking him. I saw with my own eyes that town vice mayor Xu Xiangzhong was at the scene."
[January 3, 2011; Tiancheng town; "New eyewitness #6"]
"I had to do something in Yueqing city that day. I arranged with a friend to go to the Church of Christ in Nayue."
"The vehicle left Yueqing before 9:05am. By 9:40, the vehicle got near the scene. Many vehicles were blocked ahead. They said that there was an incident and vehicles cannot move."
"I got out of the car and looked. There were two women. One was crying: 'There is no justice under heaven. They crushed a living person to death'."
"I thought that the vehicle was very weird. It went off the road to crush someone to death."
"I was watching and listening. I heard that the deceased was murdered. Two women returning from the temple saw it."
[The security guards that the police helped netizens to find]
On January 4, I asked the Yueqing Public Security Bureau Political Department to provide information on evidence and witnesses. But they refused on the grounds that a press conference had already been held. I quote the statements from the security guards that Wang Xiaoshan interviewed with the assistance of the police:
"The work clothes of the Yueqing Security Service Company have the words 'People's Republic of China Police' sewed on arm bands."
"Beginning the December 21, the construction company hired security guards to watch over the cable project on a 24-hours-a-day basis. 80 to 100 security guards were present at any time by the Zhaiqiao road. The security guard company requires their workers to say inside their five big buses unless they have to go outside and relieve themselves ... Zheng's bus was about 40 to 50 meters away from the spot of the incident. This was the closest of the buses. He got out of the bus to urinate. He heard the sound of emergency braking. He turned around and thought that something must have happened. He did not even urinate. He got back into the bus and told his companions: 'Someone might have been hit.' Wu called captain Shi who was on patrol one kilometer away. Captain Shi got the call and issued the order: Nobody is allowed to get off the bus. Cai called 110 to make a police report. Zhang disobeyed the order and got out of the bus to check. He went to the front of the bus and saw the deceased. He bent over to take a closer look. He said that he saw that the vehicle door was ajar. There was no driver inside. Zhang saw a tall villager behind him. Zhang returned to the bus."
"Manager Sun and Captain Shi came over in an eight-person van. Their mission had been to patrol the cable project. They got the call and they told the driver to take them to the scene. They got out of the van and saw a tall villager. Captain Shi called 110 to make a police report. The police call center said that they had already received a call and they were making arrangements. The tall villager pointed at Manager Sun and Captain Shi and said, "They are too, they are too." Several dozen villagers began to attack Manager Sun and Captain Shi. Captain Shi was hit in the right forehead, Manager Sun was scratched in his neck and his gold neck chain was ripped off. The security guards used their shields to retrieve Sun and Shi. The security guards got back into their bus and left. All five buses left. Sun and Shi got into their 8-person van, turned around and left in the opposite direction. The buses left around 10:01 or 10:02. The police had not arrived yet."
5. Vehicle speed and video recording investigation
Based upon the information provided by the police, the incident took place at 9:45 on December 25, 2010.
On the afternoon of January 4, 2011, the China Economic Times reporter went to the Yueqing Public Security Bureau Political Department to request to see the 110 telephone logs, the communications between the police and the traffic police, the police log and the raw investigation reports of the traffic police at the scene. The request was denied on the grounds that a press conference had already been held.
[Video recording and car speed]
On January 30, the China Economic Times reporter requested through a friend to see the surveillance video recordings along the route. The following cites what netizen Wang Xiaoshan had to say about the two videos that he saw on December 31:
"The camera at the exit of the stone quarry showed that a truck that looked exactly the same as the one in the incident passing in front of the camera at 9:38. The license number and the driver could not be seen. on the right side of the truck, there is a large number '23' painted. In the video, the vehicle was coming down the hill on a dirt road at relatively slow speed. 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. It was raining, but not heavily. Some pedestrians opened their umbrellas, others didn't."
"The camera in front of Huayi village showed that a vehicle that looked exactly like the one in the incident passed by 9:42:09 on December 25. It was traveling faster."
"The truck that passed in front of the Huayi village was estimated by us to be traveling at 40 to 50 kilometers per hour. Deputy director Lin said that anywhere between 40 to 60 is possible. It also passed a small vehicle. The license number cannot be seen clearly."
"A field trial showed that it took 4 minutes 12 seconds to go from the stone quarry to the entrance of Huayi village."
In his microblog, he expressed his personal viewpoint: He thought that "it was very unlikely that these two video segments were forged. If they forged it, they would have made the videos clearer so that you can at least see the license number. They would also make sure that the two videos look the same. As to why they didn't publish it, my personal viewpoint is that the police are stupid."
On the evening of December 31, Wang Xiaoshan told the China Economic Times reporter that he cannot confirm that the vehicle in the videos is really the one involved in the incident.
On January 4, a certain anonymous person near the stone quarry told the China Economic Times reporter: "I can only tell you that the camera at the exit of the stone quarry has been under constant repair recently." A Zhaiqiao villager was suspicious about why the Huayi village entrance camera was working. He said that the cameras in the surrounding villages were installed around the same time. So how come one can store video but the other cannot?
At noon on January 4, the China Economic Times reporter rented a car to go from the Wandi stone quarry to the scene of the accident. The results of three repeated trials are basically consistent with what Wang Xiaoshan found.
The car went past the scene of the incident at 42 kilometers per hour. According to the driver, there should be brake marks when someone brakes after seeing someone ahead. The brake marks should be sufficient to estimate the vehicle speed. But the Wenzhou Changxun Motor Vehicle Judicial Appaisal Business Office noted that "there is insufficient information to estimate the speed at the time of the incident."
[The whereabouts of the stone quarry workers are unknown, the original records are missing]
According to the administrative regulations at the stone quarry, a human recorder is supposed to note down when a truck exits.
On that day, it was reported that only one truck left the stone quarry. Therefore, this reporter went to the Wandi stone quarry to seek the original records for December 25.
But the reporter was told that all the current stone quarry workers were hired after December 27. The whereabouts of the former workers are unknown, and no one can tell where the original records are.
6. Investigation of the time of the incident
The police stated publicly that the incident took place at 9:45.
Several eyewitnesses told the China Economic Times reporter very clearly that the incident took place at around 9:30. The eyewitness who signed the letter of guarantee to the reporter stated very clearly that the incident occurred between 9:30 and 9:33.
From January 1 to January 4, the China Economic Times reporter conducted an investigation about the two buses routes that pass by the scene of the incident. The results of the investigation were consistent with what the eyewitnesses told the China Economic Times about the incident taking place around 9:30.
[Hongqiao to Nanyue route]
December 25 was Christmas. The church provided a free bus to go from Hongqian town to the Church of Christ in Nanyue town.
The fleet captain named Hou refused to provide the detailed times of the buses around the time of the incident. However, he and other drivers told the reporter that it takes about 20 minutes to go from Hongiao to Nanyue, and at most 30 minutes to get to the Church of Christ in Nanyue. On January 4, the reporter personally confirmed this. The buses left every five minutes.
On that day, the church rented five free buses for the followers. These five buses ran on a rolling schedule. Our reporter found two young Christians who provided service on the bus. They said that the travel time was quicker than the normal paid bus service that day. There was no traffic jam on the road until the death of Qin Yunhui occurred.
One of the Christians stayed on one particular bus. The bus set out at 7:20 near the Church of Christ in Nanyue. Here is the estimated schedule: at most thirty minutes to Hongqiao at 7:50; return from Hongqiao at 7:55 to arrive at the Church of Christ at 8:25; turn back at 8:30 to Hongqiao, return at 9:05. There was no congestion around the scene of the incident before. But now they were stopped because people were blocking the road. Under normal circumstances it would take at most 30 minutes. So the road was blocked beginning 9:35-9:40. The scene of the incident was 3 to 4 minutes away from the Church of Christ in Nanyue.
[Yueqing to Nanyue route]
The China Economic Times reporter found a passenger in Tiancheng town who takes the Yueqing-Nanyue bus regularly to the Church of Christ in Nanyue.
"The bus took off before 9:05. I am familiar with this route. They usually dispatch a bus every 10 minutes. This section of the road should take just over 20 minutes by car. Since people get on and off buses, the bus trip is just under 40 minutes. If the traffic is heavy, it may take 50 minutes."
"There was no traffic jam on that occasion. It was very smooth. We got blocked when we got near the scene."
"We got blocked around 9:40pm. There were many vehicles ahead. I estimate that the traffic jam must have started several minutes ago."
The China Economic Times reporter took the bus from Nanyue to Yueqing. The trip took 38 minutes. It took two minutes to go from the Nanyue bus station to the scene of the accident.
The investigation of the two public bus routes showed that traffic was blocked before 9:40pm. In order to verify the basis of the police claim that the incident took place around 9:45, the China Economic Times reporter asked the Yueqing City Public Security Bureau Political Department to see the police activity log. His request was turned down.
7. The recording of the death and the last telephone call
[January 3, 2011 morning; the Qian Yunhui home; the second description by Qian's wife Wang Zhaoyan]
"He does not usually take calls from anyone except for two persons. One is Wang Liquan with whom he petitioned together. The other is vice mayor Xu ."
"At around 9am or so on December 25, Qian Yunhui got a telephone call. He walked out of the door as he spoke ..."
[January 3, 2011 morning; the owner of the roadside shopowner]
"It was just past 9am. Qian Yunhui came and bought three packs of 14 yuan Lijuan cigarettes. I just happened to be sold out. So he went to the shop in Huaqiu village to buy it. I did not pay any attention to him afterwards.
[December 29, 2010 morning; Zhaiqiao village; the Qian family home; Qian Yunhui's brother]
"Shortly after the incident that day, a relative found Qian Yunhui's mobile telephone lying on the dirt. The phone was turned off and it had gotten wet. The relative handed it to Qian Dazi (pseudonym) who handed it to Qian Zhigang (pseudonym). Qian Zhigang and several others began to look up the call records."
[December 12, 2010 afternoon; Zhaiqiao village; Huang Zhigang (pseudonym) on the last telephone call]
"On that day, I and Qian Zhigang (pseudonym) and several others got a hold of the phone and we found a secluded place to study it. We turned on the mobile phone but the number of the last call was missing."
"He was on the phone when he walked out of the door at 9am or so. But the closest call in the record was the one made by Wang Liquan to him at 8:30-8:31."
"During this period, he was very cautious. He would not cross a road by himself. When he left the village, he was always with two or three other people. He only took calls from Wang Liquan and the town vice mayor. So who called him?"
[January 3, 2011 morning; the Qian home; Qian's daughter-in-law said that Qian Yunhui's ID had been stolen]
"Before 4pm on December 25, our whole family were on the road. When we came back, we found that my father-in-law's briefcase on the second floor had been cleaned out."
"He put a lot of things in his briefcase. His ID and other important documents. We checked carefully. We found out that each pocket of the briefcase was empty."
"On December 27, a reporter asked us whether we have the ID. He said that we can use the ID to check the telephone call records at the telephone company. I said that his ID and other documents were stolen from his briefcase. I brought the briefcase over. I found the ID on the outer pocket which wasn't even buttoned up."
[December 31, 2010 afternoon; Zhaiqiao village, the Qian home; Qian Yunhui's younger brother]
"A couple of days ago, a reporter told me down to the telephone company to check the call records. The telephone company asked me to list the ten telephone numbers that Qian Yunhui called or received most recently. I couldn't list them so they won't let me see the records.]
[December 29, 2010 night; Wenzhou police press conference]
According to the published reports, the police claimed that they have obtained the telephone call records. The call was made to "the villager named Wang" sometime "before 8am" on December 25.
The Wenzhou police: "We identified Qian Yunhui's last telephone call. The villager named Wang called him about certain village matters. It was not a call from the town vice mayor as rumored."
[January 4, 2011 afternoon; Yueqing; Zhang Qiang (pseudonym) on a video recording of Qian Yunhui's death]
"The mobile telephone is presently hidden in a secret location. It is believed that the last telephone call can be restored technically."
"A micro-camera was also removed along with the mobile telephone. Qian Yunhui obtained this equipment for himself. There is a 50% chance that he activated this camera. The time is not right yet. We cannot tell you whether Qian Yunhui recorded his own death on camera."
[January 7, 2011; the villager who knew about the micro-camera was nabbed]
Qian Chengqian knew that Qian Yunhui was carrying a micro-camera when he died. He did not know where the camera is. He was nabbed on the night of January 7, 2011. Villagers provided this information to the China Economic Times reporter on the afternoon of the next day.
[January 11, 2011; Yueqing detention center]
Two Shanghai lawyers met with Wang Liquan. He said: (1) he did not gather a crowd to disturb public order; he is innoncent. (2) On that day, Qian Yunhui came to see him to prepare petition materials; (3) he did not make the call that made Qian Yunhui come out and die.
8. Was the town vice mayor at the scene?
On January 3, a peer told the China Economic Times reporter that Xu Xiangzhong claimed that he was sleeping before 9:45 that day. He provided four town government workers who could prove that he was not at the scene.
Because these four workers have direct interest with Xu, the China Economic Times reporter went on January 3 and 4 as a citizen to the Puqi town government and asked to meet with town vice mayor Xu Xiangzhong (who had just been promoted as deputy secretary) in the hope that he can reveal where he was on December 25.
On January 4, Xu Xiangzhong replied that the reporter ought to see the town publicity committee member Qian if he wanted to know.
Committee member Qian said in response to the citizen request to find about about the whereabouts of Xu Xiangzhong on December 25 that if Xu Xiangzhong is under suspicion, then the matter ought to be brought up with the public security apparatus.
On the afternoon of January 4, China Economic Times reporter went through the Yueqing City Party Committee publicity department to contact the Yueqing City Public Security Bureau Political Department.
The Political Department director named Lin told the China Economic Times reporter that the public security apparatus has surely investigated anything suspicious. But he rejected the request by the reporter to show the relevant reports. He said that the case has been declared to be a traffic incident and there has already been a press conference in which has released whatever they wanted to .
As to whether the Yueqing and Wenzhou public security organizations have done whatever is necessary for a crime investigation, he said that all that had been covered in the press conference.
[December 29, 2010 Wenzhou police press conference on the case of Qian Yunhui]
The Wenzhou police bulletin: "The reasons why 'murder' was eliminated were that during our investigation, (1) we rigorously scrutinized the truthfulness of the testimony of the suspect, conflict of interest between the suspect and the deceased, the likelihood that the suspect was hired for the job, etc. We also investigated the history, work situation, social connections, etc of the suspect. We eliminate the possibility that he deliberately committed this act. (2) We carefully and meticulously conducted an investigation of the scene. We re-interviewed all the witnesses and investigated their claims. We interrogated the eyewitness Qian Liangyu and the "second eyewitness" Huang Diyan who was suggested by netizens. We determined that they did not witness any "murder" directly. (3) The scene showed clear signs in which the vehicle braked suddenly, the body was dragged along the ground and the body collided with the vehicle. These signs are inconsistent with someone being held down and ran over."
The Wenzhou police bulletin did not clearly state whether they interviewed all the residents in the surrounding area.
At the press conference, the police said: "They will not let a single point of doubt go pass ..."
(Wufatian's blog) A Preliminary Analysis Of Liu Jianfeng's Investigation Report January 14, 2011.
1. Eyewitness testimonies
Except for the first new eyewitness, the others did not see it happen and therefore their testimony is only hearsay. The first new eyewitness spent as much as ten minutes watching the murder. He did not interfere and he did not call the police. This is hard to imagine. Some people say that he was scared silly. But can a person scared silly be able to see everything so clearly down to the finest detail? He was so precise that I wondered if he was watching with a pair of binoculars.
Xu Zhiyong's view is that Liu Jianfeng was misled by these so-called eyewitnesses. ... Xu Zhiyong said that he met with the first new eyewitness too. After repeated questioning, he came to the exact opposite opinion ... Xu Zhiyong said that the only new in Liu's report was that Qian Yunhui went to the snack shop to buy cigerattes around 9am. He knew everything else, and he even spoke to Liu Jianfeng. Perhaps due to inexperience, Liu Jianfeng ultimately became the medium to spread rumors.
With respect to what Qian Chengyu's family said, Xu Zhiyong reported that they went to see the sister and the mother on the afternoon of December 30 and did not hear Qian Chengyu say that he was the initial eyewitness of the murder. One day later, the sister and the mother told completely opposite stories to Liu Jianfeng? So what is the truth? Some people say that Xu Zhiyong was wrong and Liu Jianfeng was right. But this kind of debate is futile, because in the end these two people only have hearsay. The only thing that matters is what Qian Chengyu has to say for himself.
There are two translations of an audio tape recording of Qian Chengyu who was telling a traffic policeman about what happened. Liu Jianfeng's version was "I was standing on the left side of the vehicle. He was on the right side. The vehicle is so big. I couldn't see ... there was nothing that I can do. The security guards took away. The security guards blocked me so that I could not get ..." Xu Zhiyong's version was "I stood there. Yunhui was already turned over. He tripped. I don't know if anyone is inside the vehicle." Qian Chengyu also told the Legal News Daily reporter who had asked for evidence of a murder: "The vehicle was driven to the other side of the road without braking. Isn't this murder? It is 100% murder." So his words either at the scene or to the reporter later did not indicate that he witnessed a murder.
2. Material evidence
With respect to Qian Yunhui's mobile telephone, how come the relatives have it and not the police?
If the police were negligent, then Qian Yunhui dropped the mobile phone on the ground and the relative picked it up. The mobile phone has the intact original evidence. So why was the record of the last call missing?
If the police actually got it first, then they deliberately dropped it back down on the ground at some point for the relative to find. Look, if the police want to modify the mobile phone (such as deleting call records), why don't they just take it back to the police station and they can do whatever they want there?
[ESWN comment: Everybody wants to know who made that last telephone call to Qian Yunhui. Everybody is starting with Qian's wife saying that he got a call around 9am and walked out the door while still talking. The last call shown on the mobile phone was with villager Wang Liquan at 8:30am-8:31am. Therefore everybody is assuming that the ~9:00am call has gone missing.
But now let us recall that the snack shop owner said that Qian Yunhui came in at 9am to buy cigarettes. So how can Qian be at home doing the call and buying cigarettes at the snack shop at the same time? Maybe Qian's wife got the time wrong? Maybe the time of the call was actually 8:30am?]
Also many people say that there were impact marks on the truck. Please do not be selectively blind because the photos were posted before already:
3. Audiovisual evidence
With respect to Qian Yunhui's micro-camera, why does the informed source Zhang Qiang (pseudonym) say that there is a 50% chance that Qian recorded his own death? It is easy enough to resolve -- either he did or he did not. Why do we require probabilities? To put it simply, did he record it or not? Yes or no?
[ESWN Comment: If the answer is YES, the recording would be posted all over the Internet already because it changes everything. Why would they say that they won't produce it unless a central government investigation team comes? They produce the recording and a central government investigation team will have to come, not the other way around.]
4. The time of the incident
The China Economic Times reporter said that the incident took place at 9:30-9:33 and the truck was already waiting at the scene at 9:25. Wang Xiaoshan saw the surveillance videos in which the truck left the Wandi stone quarry at 9:38 and passed the Huayi village entrance at 9:42:09. The police said that the incident took place at 9:45.
If the incident really did take place at 9:30-9:33, then (1) the Wandi stone quarry modified its video to show a later time; (2) China Mobile modified its video taken at Huayi village to show a later time; (3) the police modified all their activity logs (including paper work, radio communication recordings, etc) to show later times. When the Wenzhou police entered the investigation, they were either presented with these falsified records or else they also participated in the conspiracy.
To commit this murder, they select an intersection in broad daylight where many people come and go. They use a big construction truck and they bring in several dozen special police officers. They must be pretty stupid to do this on such a mass scale. They could have just interfered with the village committee election, or fabricate some charges to get some jail time. They have done this several times already, haven't they? So why commit murder now? Even if some government leader has rust in his head and wants to kill, he only has to give some lackey 20,000 yuan to do the job silently on a dark night.
Right now, you need to find two drivers (one of whom is even unlicensed which automatically turns this from a traffic accident to a criminal case) and you need to involve the traffic police officers, the regular patrol officers, SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) police officers, the Wandi stone quarry, the Yueqing Security Guards Company, China Mobile (which operates the surveillance cameras), the Yueqing traffic police division, the Yueqing criminal investigation division (CID) and the Wenzhou Public Security Bureau. What a monumental project! What if someone among the two drivers and their families, the more than 20 SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) police officers, the China Mobile workers, the surveillance camera monitoring workers, the 100 or so security guards, the 1,000 or so Yueqing police officers and the even more numerous Wenzhou police officers should find a conscience and leak the truth? The whole elaborate plan would collapse in a flash.
A famous reporter told me that the Yueqing police, the Wenzhou police and even the entire Zhejiang government are involved in fabricating the evidence in this case. I said, "Your imagination is so vivid. It is a waste of your talent not to go make sci-fi films."
(McClatchy Newspapers) Death in China: Crushing dissent or tragic accident? Tom Lasseter January 12, 2011
Qian Yunhui would not be silenced. A local leader in a community of farmers, Qian devoted much of his time to protesting a power plant being built on his village's ancestral land.
In a country where public dissent against the government is rare — and quickly silenced when it appears — Qian continued to lead demonstrations and submit petitions despite having been sent to prison twice in three years. He wrote letters to provincial and national leaders naming the government officials and companies he accused of stealing land — something most Chinese would consider extremely dangerous.
His provocative campaign ended Christmas morning. That's when after receiving a phone call, Qian's family said, he walked out of his modest concrete home to meet someone, though it's not known whom. Villagers found his body a short while later, mangled under the front wheel of a construction truck. The fat tire had crushed Qian's chest and neck, coming to a rest at the back of his head — the pressure sent blood and flesh spurting from his mouth. Qian's face lay in the cold mud, eyes shut.
Every villager interviewed by McClatchy in Zhaiqiao said they thought Qian, 53, was murdered as a warning to locals that it was time to stop talking about the power plant. Witnesses, they said, had seen men holding Qian down as the truck pulverized his body.
Government officials maintain that Qian died in a simple traffic accident, an unfortunate bit of bad luck on a wet patch of road.
The difficulty of drawing a conclusion about what happened that morning says a lot about the system in which China's authoritarian government operates.
As the world focuses on Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington next week, and his country's growing economic clout and military ambitions, at home the Chinese Communist Party is often far more preoccupied with maintaining domestic order — "harmonious" is the adjective preferred by leaders like Hu.
The death of Qian Yunhui is in many ways a startling reminder of how high the cost can be for those who won't fall in line, a reality that the government tries hard to suppress.
China's Zhejiang Province, where Zhaiqiao sits, is an epicenter of factories that make clothes, shoes, lighters and other cheap goods for export to the West. The billions of dollars that flow each year from that manufacturing boom have filled the roads south of Shanghai with Mercedes sedans and sprinkled towering homes in the middle of impoverished villages.
The flood of cash, however, hasn't brought a corresponding rise in civil liberties. While the state allows the election of local village heads, like Qian Yunhui, it does not tolerate challenges to its political or financial decisions.
In Qian's case, his efforts only got him arrested, imprisoned twice and, locals say, murdered.
"He went to Beijing (to lodge formal complaints) only after he petitioned at every local level," said his 31-year-old son, Qian Chengxu. "It was all useless."
Whatever the cause of Qian Yunhui's demise, this much is clear — he was not afraid to stir up trouble. He said publicly that village leaders had signed over their mountain plot for a power plant in 2004 only after police detained them at a hotel for a week until they agreed.
That same year, Qian helped lead hundreds of villagers to protest the property deal in the nearby town of Yueqing, which oversees Zhaiqiao. That earned him an 18-month prison term after a Yueqing court convicted him of intent to "make disturbances and provoke incidents."
The sentence was suspended, apparently on the condition that he keep quiet. Instead, Qian ran for and was elected village leader in 2005 and kept complaining about what he described as an illegal land grab. The local security bureau appealed for help to the court, which dusted off the 2004 conviction and sent Qian to prison for eight months in 2006, according to a case summary provided by Yueqing officials.
By 2008, his role as village leader was no longer officially recognized, but Qian was re-elected anyway. Court records show he was sent back to prison in 2008 on a new charge of land fraud, though government documents given to McClatchy didn't fully explain the charges.
Qian was released in July, the same month that the provincial government announced the power plant officially had been put into operation. Qian was not deterred — he continued writing letters to officials alleging corruption and organizing locals.
The leadership in Yueqing maintains that villagers in Zhaiqiao were simply trying to renege on their agreement to sell the mountain plot and other pieces of land. The villagers, according to a release from Yueqing's government, were given about $5.7 million but kept demanding more and more cash.
While residents of Zhaiqiao say they never received the $5.7 million, the Yueqing government contends the money was put in a special account and that village leaders decided not to disburse it.
In the days after Qian's death, grisly photographs and videos showing his bloody remains spread across the Internet. His name became a national symbol for frustration with the country's widespread corruption.
On Jan. 1, hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police down the road from Zhaiqiao. Video footage from the standoff shows protesters lobbing rocks and the police charging into the crowd behind riot shields.
A few days before, police commanders from the nearby metropolis of Wenzhou had attended a news conference to confirm that Qian's death was an accident. Their explanation: The truck was 35 tons overweight with broken rock, its driver was unlicensed and "Pedestrian Qian Yunhui crossed the road before confirming that it was safe to cross."
Video shot not long after Qian's death showed the truck in a nearly straight line on the shoulder of the wrong side of the street, with Qian's body lying under the front tire with scant evidence that he'd been thrown by any impact. There was little sign of skid marks on the road that one might expect from such a large truck slamming to a halt.
The police acknowledged that four other men were at the scene shortly after the incident — raising suspicions locally that it was they who killed Qian — but officials said the group consisted of a passenger from the truck and three guards from a nearby construction site who'd run over to see what happened.
The government said it would allow a combination of lawyers, Internet activists and rural experts to investigate the matter. By the time those gestures were made, the state had snipped away any loose ends that might contradict the official narrative.
Qian's body was taken away before an autopsy could be performed. Officials reported that a security camera at the spot where Qian died wasn't working.
The two people who villagers say saw men press Qian down as the truck ground his life away disappeared briefly. When they surfaced on state television in separate interviews four days later, they denied seeing anything suspicious.
One of them, Qian Chengyu, was in handcuffs and behind bars during the television interview.
The other, Huang Diyan, said she'd been coached by unnamed collaborators to say she'd witnessed a killing. Careful viewers could see a man dressed in what looked like a police uniform reflected in the window behind her.
A friend, who asked for anonymity for fear of being arrested, told McClatchy that police had taken Huang's husband to a hotel for a night and told him that it would be best for her family if she recanted her tale of murder.
Even Qian's family is reluctant to talk. His 81-year-old father, Qian Shunnan, was recently standing near his dead son's house as relatives sat in front of a small shrine and burned paper meant to serve as money in the afterlife.
"I can't tell you anything except what the government wants me to say," he said, wearing dusty cotton pants. Then he looked toward the altar with a picture of his son and blurted out, "He was murdered!"
Qian Yunhui's younger brother was listening nearby and offered an explanation for why his father seemed torn about what to say.
"None of the villagers want to talk about it. If the government finds out they spoke with you, they'll be arrested," said Qian Yunyong, 45, a rice farmer with rough hands.
Like everyone else in town, he'd seen the men in a black Volkswagen with no license plates on a nearby road filming passersby and taking photographs.
A visiting Western journalist was approached several times by more than a dozen villagers who hurriedly whispered that Qian Yunhui had been killed because he'd openly challenged area powerbrokers and officials.
The accounts were followed by pleas not to report the speakers' identities.
"Don't take our pictures; don't write down our names," said one middle-aged woman in jeans and a dark coat. "They will beat us."
A younger man in a brown jacket with the hood pulled down said that some in the area had made the unfortunate decision to talk candidly with Chinese state media; they were later arrested.
"I'm very scared," he said.
The young man, like many others, said he was speaking up only because Qian Yunhui had sacrificed his life for them.
That, said the villagers, should count for something.
(Caijing) Certain Details In The Case Of Qian Yunhui (2011/01/17)
The Security Guards
At around 9am that morning, Qian Yunhui got a telephone call. He walked out of his house as he spoke. Due to his persistent petitioning over the years, he usually slept in different places out of concern for personal security. His wife has had two operations. Since Qian Yunhui got out of prison in 2010, his children noticed that he has been more caring for his family. On this morning, he returned from the outside and made noodles for himself and his wife.
According to the Wenzhou police, Qian Yunhui's last call came from a villager named Wang and it was about village business. The police did not give Wang's full name but most people think that it was Wang Liquan.
Wang Liquan is presently detained at the Yueqing Detention Center. His lawyer Yu Zhiuyuan told our reporter that Wang Liquan told him on January 10, 2011 that he was working at a factory in Hongqiao town fifteen kilometers away. They spoke several times about petitioning. Wang is not sure whether Qian went out of the village on account of his call.
Qian Yunhui got to the village entrance and made a right turn, walking down Hongnan Road westbound towards the adjacent Hua'er village. A grocery store owner confirmed that he saw that Qian Yunhui passing by on the north side of the road. A short while later, someone saw him on the south side of Hongnan Road. Nobody knew why he crossed the road over to the side that had no buildings.
At the same time, five buses belonging to the Yueqing City Security Services Company were in the vicinity of Zhaiqiao village. Each bus carried 18 to 20 security guards who were dressed like SWAT police officers.
The Zhaiqiao village did not agree with the laying of electric cables on their section of Hongnan Road. So these security guards were hired to "patrol" here every day. Two of the buses were parked in an empty lot more than 50 meters away from the Zhaiqiao village entrance, perpendicular to Hongnan Road.
At the time, it was cloudy and raining. The Wenzhou authorities claimed that Qian Yunhui had his umbrella out. After the incident, a broken umbrella rib was found, partially bent out of shape with scrape marks.
The Town Vice Mayor
On December 17, 2010, the Zhaiqiao villagers brought electricity poles over to block vehicles from going down Hongnan Road to the Yueqing Electricity Power Plant. Over the next days, the power plant coal trucks and the Yueqing Lingang stone trucks could not pass. The police came and removed the poles by force. So the local government sent out security guards as well as Puqi town government workers to patrol around the village entrance. There were clashes at which Qian Yunhui was present.
On December 21 and 22, the conflicts escalated. In a courier package that Qian Yunhui sent to Beijing before his death, there was a compact disc with a video showing two command vehicles, sixteen buses of various sizes and many groups of persons standing guard by the roadside. The package also contained a stack of flyers entitled "Video contents." According to the flyer, on December 22, Yueqing city Puqi town party secretary Xie Xiangzhong led a team of people who were dressed as if they were armed police in order to take over the basic farmlands of Zhaiqiao village. The Wenzhou person Yuan Digui who got those flyers in Beijing said that Qian was already posting those flyers all over the vilage.
Yuan Digui is out of reach at this time. On December 29, 2010, Yuan told our reporter that Qian Yunhui was murdered because of these flygers. He claimed that after Qian Yunhui posted many of these posters, the Puqi town government held an emergency meeting. "Vice mayor Xu Xiangzhong was in the village 24 hours a day. He stayed until 2am before going home."
The "Xie Xiangzhong" named in the flyers should be "Xu Xiangzhong." Xu is the Puqi town deputy party secretary in charge of politics and law, thus to maintain stability. He has been under suspicion ever since the incident. On the Internet, the earliest rumor said: "Puqi town vice mayor Xie Xiangzhong directed a group of people to murder Qian Yunhui by running him over with a truck. He commanded the action from his car. The five person were SWAT policemen."
The "SWAT policemen" version evolved from the uniformed security guards. On December 29, 2010, Xu Xiangzhong told our reporter that the incident took place on Saturday. At the time, he was sleeping in his Hongqiao town home seven kilometers away from Zhaiqiao village. At 9:40am or so, he called a call from the town administrative office worker Chen Guofeng who told him that Qian Yunhui was dead after being hit by a vehicle. The Security Service Company deputy general manager also called him to say that he had been assaulted at the scene. A distant relative Wang Hanbing also called and said, "I heard that you had been assaulted."
Xu Xiangzhong said that he was very perplexed. He told Wang to come pick him up. Wang Hanbing told our reporter that he suggested to Xu on the way: "Don't go to the scene now, because they will say that you were the commander." So Xu asked Wang to take him to the border patrol office.
Qian Yunhui's brother-in-law Wang Lirui was very upset when he heard someone say that Xu Xiangzhong drove his car to the scene and directed the action. He said "I won't let him off." In order to see if Xu had been out of home that morning, he asked around and learned that a friend had taken Xu's car the night before.
On that day, Wang Lirui tracked down Xu's car at the town government office. It had been raining that day. He noted that the bottom of the car was dry. He also took photos.
At 9:38 on the same day, a construction truck that looked identical to the one involved in the incident came out of the Shantangshan Stone Quarry. The quarry is located in Wandi village, Hongqiao town. On the map, the route involves coming out of Wandi village, turning left onto Hongnan Road. From there it is 4.7 kilometers past Hua'ao village, Huayi village, Hua'er village to Zhaiqiao village.
There are three surveillance cameras along the route: at the exit of the quarry, at the entrance to Huayi village and at the scene of the incident. The police said that the camera at Zhaiqiao village only began testing on December 21 and did not have the capability to store data yet -- that function was only activated at 12:52 on the day of the incident. This was to raise a lot of suspicion afterwards.
According to the surveillance video taken at the exit of the stone quarry, the construction truck contained a very big number "23" on the right hand side near the driver's seat. This was just like the truck involved in the incident.
About four minutes later (at 9:42:09), the Huayi village surveillance video showed that construction truck passing by. The netizens Wang Xiaoshan and Dou Hanzhang saw these two videos at the Yueqing Public Security Bureau. They could see the truck coming down from the hill first. Because it was a dirt road, the truck was not going fast -- 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. When it passed the Huayi village entrance, it was going at 40 to 50 kilometers per hour. "It went out a smaller vehicle."
Was this the truck that hit Qian Yunhui? The license plate was not visible in the videos. Dou Hanzhang took out his notebook computer and compared the images on the videos to the photos of the truck involved in the incident, and he did not detect any difference. The two netizens then tested the travel time. From the stone quarry to the entrance of Huayi village, it took 4 minutes 12 seconds at 42 kilometers per hour. The scene of the incident was just ahead past the Hua'er village entrance.
It was raining that day, but not heavily. In the two videos, some people had umbrellas out but others did not.
On the truck involved in the incident, there were two persons: the 32-year-old driver Fei Liangyu and his fellow townsman Huang Biao. Fei Liangyu did not have an operator's license, but he was the truck owner. In October 2010, he borrowed 400,000 yuan and bought the truck. He came to Yueqing to transport rocks for the landfill project. In the CCTV interview, Fei Liangyu said that he did not know either Qian Yunhui or Qian Liangyu, and he was not hired to "get rid of" Qian Yunhui.
Fei Liangyu said that because the right side of Hongnan Road was blocked, he drove on the left side of the road. This was confirmed by an inspection of the scene. Although only one-fourth of the road was taken over by construction near the Zhaiqiao village entrance, the construction took up half of the road completely further down the road so that vehicles can only drive down the left side against traffic.
When Fei Liangyu got near the Zhaiqiao village entrance, he saw someone quickly crossing the road from the right side. "My first reaction was to sound the klaxon."
He said that the person "appeared" to have glanced at the truck. "I immediately veered towards the left and stepped on the brake. But I was not able to avoid him." "It was raining. The road was slippery. This was an overloaded truck."
It is hard to show murder given the skid marks on the ground. According to the Wenzhou police, the truck was permitted to carry 12.405 tonnes but it was actually carrying 35.020 tonnes (282% over capacity). The Wenzhou Changxun Motor Vehicle Judiciary Assessment Office determined that the steering of the loaded truck was not bood.
At that moment, the security guard company worker Zhang Yuanzhang had gotten out of the bus in order to cross the road to go to the farm fields on the south side of the road in order to urinate. He heard a sound of braking that was not particularly loud.
He turned his ahead and saw a red construction truck that had veered to the side of the road at the intersection of Hongnan Road and Zhaiqiao village entrance. There appeared to be a person's head underneath the left front wheel of the truck.
Zheng Yuanzhang immediately turned around and raced back to the bus to say "something has happened." Among the security guards, Zhang Hui was more daring and he headed towards the truck. The others were told by their supervisor to stay put. Zhang Hui walked down the left side of the truck from behind and came to the left front wheel. He saw Qian Yunhui under the wheel. He went to the right rear of the truck and took out his mobile phone to call the police.
At this time, Zhang Hui saw a tall man heading towards Zhaiqiao village. Later on, it became known that this was villager Qian Chengyu. Zhang Hui said that Qian Chengyu had already entered the village, but he came back to the truck to see. Qian then raced to the village while yelling "Help!"
There is a discrepancy in the recollections of those present. Some security guards said that only Zhang left the bus, but others say that some other security guards were also out of the bus. Qian Chengyu told his lawyer Peng Jian that he saw four men in security guard uniforms about 18 meters behind the bus.
More than one Zhaiqiao villager said that Qian Chengyu told him that four men in security guard uniforms held Qian Yunhui down on the ground and waved the construction truck over to come over slowly and crush Qian Yunhui's body.
Qian Chengyu is presently detained by the police on suspicion of interfering with official business. Lawyer Peng Jian told our reporter that Qian Chengyu has adamantly denied telling anyone that Qian Yunhui was held down on the ground to be run over. "He said that he saw security guards leaving behind the truck. He sensed that they were panicky. Then he saw that someone was underneath the left wheel. He found out that it was Qian Yunhui. As our meeting came near the end, Qian Chengyu said in his own words that see anyone push and shove Qian Yunhui."
The Hua'er villager Huang Diyan had claimed that she witnessed the incident. She claimed that at around 9:30, she was passing the Zhaiqiao village entrance on her way to pray. She saw three persons wearing white gloves and black surgical mask holding an old man down on the ground. The three persons were not wearing security guard uniforms. Instead they wore a denim jacket, a green jacket and a grey jacket respectively. But later on Huang Diyan changed her story: "Someone told me to say that I saw it, to testify for them. A victorious case would mean that my daughter will recover from her illness."
The third self-proclaimed eyewitness is Qian Yunhui's relative who lives by the roadside. On December 26, 2010, she told the Qian family that she saw three to four persons holding Qian Yunhui down, they prevented him from calling out for help, Qian struggled but could not get up and was ultimately crushed to death. On January 8, 011, she insisted on this story. But when pressed with questions, she smiled and mumbled to herself. "There is nothing that can be done. Her brain has always been quite muddled. So even if she said so, nobody would believe her anyway." Qian Yunhui's eldest daughter Qian Xudan expressed her helplessness.
At this point, all the the initial 'murder' testimonies from the eyewitnesses have all been shown to be false.
The Village Director
The whole village heard about the news after Qian Chengyu ran in and yelled. A member of the Zhaiqiao Village Senior Citizens Association heard someone say: "Qian Yunhui has been killed after being run over. Everybody, come quickly!"
A middle-aged villager arrived at the scene a quarter of an hour later. There were several dozen villagers at the village entrance already. Several security guards were being assaulted because the villagers thought that they were the murderers. He told our reporter that he saw Qian Chengyu talking to a Hongqiao town traffic police officer but he did not know what they talked about.
The Yueqing police said that they received a report at 9:46. They directed the Hongqiao traffic police which were closer to the scene and the Puzi Border Patrol Office to send two traffic police officers and nine police officers to the scene. They arrived at 9:53.
According to the security guards at the scene, after the Zhang Hui called the police, they also reported to their captain and their manager. The latter two quickly came over by car. But as soon as they got to the village entrance, they were attacked by people who thought that they were the murderers. When the security guards saw this happening, they got out of the buses to "rescue" the two. The security guards then left in their buses.
Within the Qian family, the wife Wang Zhaoyan was the first to arrive. Since she has been bed-ridden with illness, she was unable to speak to our reporter. Qian Xudan, Qian Shengping and her husband also came. It was around noon. They wept and cried. They did not pay attention to any police presence at the scene.
When Qian Yunhui died, his body was in an unusual position: His neck was right underneath the left front wheel of the construction truck, his head was slightly raised towards the left, some of his internal organs were squeezed out of his left chest, there was blood all over his body. On the right side of the wheel, his right hand was pressed against the ground, his right leg was kneeling, the toes on his right foot was pointed to the ground and his back was lifted upwards.
By this time, the rumor that Qian Yunhui "had been held down on the ground to be run over by a truck" was spreading like wildfire. People began to vent their rage by smashing cars and other ways. "Soon the SWAT police came. More than one hundred of them. They clashed with the villagers."
The rough response of the local government riled the villagers. According to the villagers as the police, the villagers began to throw rocks when the police attempted to remove the body. The police had to withdraw.
At around 16:00 or so, several hundred police officers came armed with anti-riot shields. They pressed forward in spite of the attacks from the villagers and they succeeded in taking away the body and removing the construction truck. During this process, Qian Xuling and her husband Zhao Xu were taken away by the police.
Apart from Qian Xuling and her husband, the Yueqing police also detained Wang Liquan and other villagers including the alleged "eyewitnesses" Qian Chengyu and Huang Diyan. This caused more rumors to swirl and even greater distrust of the local government.
Over the past seven years of so, Qian Yunhui was persistent in petitioning, "being sent to jail on three occasions." In March 2005, he was sentenced by the Yueqing court to 18 months in prison for assembling a crowd to disrupt social order, with a two year suspension; in April 2006, he was taken to prison after a court revoked the suspension of his original sentence; in November 2008, he was sent to jail one last time.
Qian Yunhui is dead now. He used to be the only hope for the villagers. During the petitioning, they had been suppressed, powerless, hopeless. For the villagers, the death of Qian Yunhui meant that their one last hope has also been dashed. Even if the local and city government determined that this was just a "traffic incident," they had lost the trust of the villagers who will never believe them.
The mistrust got even greater when eyewitnesses and principals were detained while the government said nothing. The villagers and Qian Yunhui's family are telling outsiders that it was murder. Who are the murderers? They don't know. What was the motive for murder? They don't know either. How was the murder planned and executed? They don't know either.
They only have doubts, they don't have reasonable proof. But they have the power of emotions. With these emotional powers, they convinced neighbors, friends and strangers -- those people who are willing to listen to what they say.
(Global Times) Doubts escalate over grisly death Li Xiaoshu December 19, 2011
Let's start with the more certain part.
The Zhaiqiao village chief lay mangled underneath the left front wheel of a vermilion truck with eyes shut, blood streaming from his half-open mouth.
Qian Yunhui's internal organs had splattered outward across the shoulder, one arm reaching from under the tire, his head detached from a crushed body near the Puqi county village in the suburbs of Yueqing, a city under the prefecture of the city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Qian, 53, had led a six-year campaign defending villagers' rights against land seizure by the Yueqing government. He had spent three and half of the last five years behind bars for demonstrations in Yueqing and petitioning in Beijing.
That battle ended on Christmas morning when - after eating a bowl of instant noodles and receiving an unknown phone call, according to Qian's wife Wang Zhaoyan - Qian walked out of his concrete home with an umbrella to meet a person still unknown.
What is known is that Qian died on the road he and others had previously blocked to prevent construction of a power plant and development of the local industrial zone.
Unlicensed driver Fei Liangyu called police and was immediately detained.
After Qian's suspicious death, tension between villagers and the government officials of Yueqing inevitably intensified.
Outraged families and villagers who believed that government officials had assassinated Qian to silence his powerful voice in their bitter land dispute refused to provide his corpse for forensic assessment until more than 1,000 riot police forcefully took the body away on December 25, reported the Shanghai-based Oriental Television.
Some 3,000 villagers clashed with police, injuring two officers with bricks and stones on January 1. How many villagers were injured in the clash has not been reported.
Police detain key witnesses
The man many believed held key answers - Yuan Digui, a villager who had accompanied Qian Yunhui on petitioning trips to the capital since 2007 - went missing on January 7 near the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, his family confirmed on January 10. Yuan is known for keeping the crucial materials and contacts about the Zhaiqiao village land dispute.
It is well past time that Yuan should be released, declared Yu Jianrong, a professor of rural development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who had held his own three-day independent investigation.
"It's meaningless to detain him," wrote Yu on his sina microblog. "Yuan has provided me with all his materials and I already copied them to a number of experts."
Police did not offer any legal documentation for her father's detention, Yuan's daughter Yuan Xiaoqiu disclosed.
"I had no idea about who actually took him away," she said. "He could have been kidnapped."
Yuan's mobile phone went unanswered and was eventually dead yesterday when the Global Times tried to reach him.
Gruesome photos of Qian's corpse have plagued Chinese mainland websites, blogs and bulletin boards since December 25 where public sensation, derisive criticism, rumors and skepticism have raged beyond authoritative control.
The speculation and outrage escalated after results of the official investigation by Wenzhou public security bureau and led by the bureau's deputy director Shen Qiang were announced at a December 29 press conference: Qian had died in an ordinary traffic accident.
The convenient result failed to address obvious evidential flaws or convince a doubtful public. At least five independent investigation teams led by prestigious experts and opinion leaders on the Internet set off for Zhaiqiao to study the case.
Contradictory conclusions and suspicious U-turns by witnesses and grassroots investigators turned Qian's death into a labyrinthine series of riddles, resembling the classic "Rashomon effect" named after Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's 1950 crime mystery.
It was not so mysterious for the police. They closed the case and the publicity office announced on January 14 they will hand over their evidence against the driver to Wenzhou prosecutors.
Left: Qian is not wearing a watch as he lies dead under a truck wheel. Photo: Courtesy of Wenzhou Public Security Bureau
Right: Qian is wearing a watch as he lies dead under a truck wheel. Photo: Courtesy of Liu Jianfeng
All these official conclusions were challenged by a stunning eight-day investigative report written by China Economic Times reporter Liu Jianfeng that supplied new evidence including a witness-in-hiding that seemingly confirmed Qian's death was murder.
Liu said his newspaper could not publish the article as the event was increasingly "touchy" and "disturbing some people's nerves."
Liu's investigation found four men in helmets and dark blue riot police uniforms without badges used police batons to beat Qian to the ground.
The red truck was parked about five meters away, according to Liu's anonymous new witness.
"After they pinned him down, they waved and shouted to the truck to come over," he quoted the wit-ness as saying.
"The truck slowly drove over and two of the men jumped aside while the other two held Qian down. There were about 20 men in riot police uniforms behind the truck."
Liu said he had signed a confidentiality agreement with his source who vowed to come out and speak only if the central government sent out special investigators.
Liu's founding echoed with a predominant public guess refuted by local authorities as "groundless".
Wenzhou public security watchdogs stressed on December 31 that anyone who intentionally made up rumors about the case would be punished in accordance with the law.
Social Visibility, an investigative Phoenix Television show on January 13 also shed light on crucial physical evidence ignored by both the police and the public: in a photo taken by unknown villagers, Qian was wearing a wristwatch with a secret audio and video recording gadget which possibly recorded the process of his death. No such watch is in the photo provided by the police.
"To protect first-hand evidence, we already took the spy watch to a safe place," a villager who requested anonymity was quoted as saying.
The man suspected of knowing where the watch is hidden has been detained by police, the source revealed. Qian's best friend villager Wang Liquan and seven other villagers were rounded up by police at about 8 pm on December 25.
Wang had been trying to meet a reporter by minibus in Hongqiao county. Police released seven other villagers except Wang, the report said.
Wang's wife and daughter were also detained on January 13 soon after the Phoenix TV show was broadcast and released the next noon, said lawyer Si Weijiang.
"Their house was searched," Si told the Global Times. "The target could be the watch."
The show also claimed Yueqing authorities had established temporary blocks and checkups to stop re-porters and independent investigators from meddling in the case.
This was denied by Yang Youcai, a spokesman for the Communist Party in Yueqing, the city that oversees Zhaiqiao.
Yang would not comment other than to say police had already announced the results of their investigation.
Qian's eldest son Qian Chengxu said yesterday during Global Times' phone interview that the new head of Puqi county went to their home last week to try and persuade families to sign a paper admitting Qian died from a traffic accident and promised compensation estimated at 500,000 yuan ($73,529).
"We don't know what to do," Qian said cautiously and then abruptly hung up.
'Pro egg' vs 'pro wall'
"If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg I will stand on the side of the egg," said Japanese writer Murakami Haruki in his Jerusalem Prize acceptance speech at the 24th Jerusalem International Book Fair on February 15, 2009.
Citing this widespread quote, Chinese Internet users have divided themselves into two factions: "pro egg" and "pro wall." The first group argues that Qian's death is a murder while the latter regards it as a traffic accident.
Pro egg: Qian was murdered
Liu Jianfeng, reporter
"My witness kept himself isolated and didn't receive any interview with other media or independent investigators. We talked privately without any third party present. We didn't revisit Zhaiqiao village to protect his personal safety.
"It's impossible for any other person to have known who he or she is. A responsible government should listen to all witnesses instead of ignoring some.
"If the central government carries out a thorough investigation, they will surely find out something new."
Wang Keqin, reporter, blogger
Wang posted his colleague Liu Jianfeng's latest investigative report on his own blog on January 13.
"The key source Liu Jianfeng has is exclusive and valuable. Villagers said their personal safety was under threat and that no one dares to speak or live in the village.
"Why did local police detain [Qian's friend] Wang Liquan's families and search their house? What were they looking for?"
Ai Weiwei, activist and artist
Ai organized staff at his studio to rework a 107-second audio clip recorded by a villager surnamed Wang on his mobile phone. The clip reveals what Qian Chengyu, a witness to Qian Yunhui's death, said to traffic police immediately after the incident. The team will publish a report next week and a documentary about citizens' investigations into the Qian death in February.
"We found all previous investigations somewhat rash and lacking evidence. It's almost impossible to approach the ultimate reality in the established system.
"However, my judgment is based on common sense: Why didn't the local police release a forensic assessment report? Why would a troublemaker accidentally die under the wheel of a truck? Why did police arrive so soon to handle the emergency?
"All these factors point to Qian's predestined death: a fact that ruined our faith in justice."
Wu Gan, online activist who nicknamed himself 'butcher'
Wu went to Yueqing on December 30 for an independent investigation but was repatriated back to his hometown in Fujian Province the next day.
"The single surveillance camera that could have filmed the incident was out of service for 'technical reasons' at the time, but why was it not out of service to document when the villagers rioted against local government on the same day? The Yueqing branch of China mobile should offer a detailed file with convincing statistics to support the statement."
Pro wall: Qian died in a traffic accident
Villager Qian Chengyu, witness
Qian was reported to have said he saw four masked men in black beating Qian Yunhui to the ground but later when interviewed by police retracted his statement, saying he only saw the victim crushed under the wheel. His on-the-spot account was recorded in a 107-second audio clip on the mobile phone of a villager surnamed Wang.
"My eyesight was blocked by the truck's hood. I didn't see exactly what happened."
Villager Huang Diyan, witness
Huang first said she was kicked away by one of the murderers when she tried to stop him from killing Qian. She completely reversed her testimony when interviewed by China's official state television on December 29. Her husband claimed she suffered from a mental disorder. Wang Keqin said he saw Huang shivering, crouching and covering her mouth after she was released by police on December 30. Police had detained her overnight.
"The daughter of Qian Yunhui asked me to give false testimony by saying I saw Qian killed. In fact, I didn't witness his death and have no idea what happened."
Xu Zhiyong, human rights lawyer, founder of the Beijing-based Open Constitution Initiative
Xu released the first independent investigation report on December 31, saying his preliminary four-day research showed Qian died in a traffic accident. He arrived in Yueqing on Sunday again to carry out a second investigation.
"I interviewed the so-called 'deep throat' Li Jianfeng quoted in his report and found loopholes in his retelling."
"There's inadequate evidence to support murder. The testimonies of witnesses are less reliable than physical evidence."
Dou Hanzhang, business commentator
Dou checked the video showing the route of the truck provided by local police and met six security guards arranged by local authorities during his two-day investigation in Yueqing.
"We followed the truck's route and found everything's exactly the same as shown in the video. One of the six security guards heard the truck brake."
Huang Xiaozhong, Wenzhou Public Security Bureau spokesman
"A murder requires a motive. The driver and the truck owner didn't know Qian Yunhui before. They ran a transport business elsewhere before November and they've been working in Yueqing for only a month.
"It's against common sense that someone hired the drivers to murder Qian. A logical adult should have plenty of ways to rub his or her enemy out. Why bother to rely on two inexperienced killers in a construction truck with the plate number on in broad daylight?"
(ChineseElections.org) The Scholars/Civilians Yueqing Observer Team's Report On The Case of Qian Yunhui January 19, 2011
... 3.1 Members: Xiao Shu, Southern Weekend commentator; Pu Baoyi, media worker; Chen Jieren, China Politics and Law University Legal News Research Center researcher; Shi Weijiang, Shanghai lawyer.
4. The investigation experience
4.1 Xiao Shu and volunteers Liu Cheng and Ye Yin arrived in Wenzhou city on the afternoon of December 30; Shi Weijiang arrived in Wenzhou at 6pm; Lu Wenju arrived in Wenzhou at 10pm or so; Pu Baoyi and Chen Jieren arrived in Wenzhou on January 1.
4.2 On the night of December 30, 2010, Xiao Shu, Shi Weijiang, Liu Cheng, Ye Yin and Lu Wenju agreed on these actions: contact the Wenzhou city government and public security bureau the next morning and ask to see evidence in the government's hands (within legally permissible limits). The reason was that the next day was Friday and a three-day New Year holiday was coming up after that ...
4.3 At 9:30am on December 31, 2010, Xiao Shu called Wenzhou City External Publicity Office director Zhang Chunjiao about gaining access. One hour later, Zhang did not call back. Xiao Shu called Zhang again. Zhang said that he had spoken with the Yueqing Public Security Bureau and they will meet with the observer team. Xiao Shu asked for a contact telephone number for the Yueqing Public Security Bureau. Zhang said to go there directly.
4.4 At some time after 11am on December 31, 2010, Shi Weijinang called Wenzhou City Public Security Bureau spokesperson Huang Xiaozhong, Public Security Bureau Director Ye Hanbing, Wenzhou City vice mayor Peng Jiaxue who is in charge of public security and Wenzhou City Communist Party Secretary Chen Deyong. All calls were either not picked up or automatically forwarded. The observer team failed to get the government to let them meet with the eyewitnesses.
4.5 At noon on December 31, 2010, Xiao Shu, Lu Wenju, Ma Shen and Shi Weijiang discussed and decided to go directly to Zhaiqiao village, Puqi town, Yueqing city. They were taken there in two cars ...
4.6 Along the way, Professor Guo Weiqing and two doctoral candidate students arrived in Wenzhou. They were told to proceed directly to Zhaiqiao village.
4.7 At around 3pm on December 31, 2010, Xiao Shu, Lu Wenju and Shi Weijiang met at the village entrance along with the Southern Metropolis and CCTV reporters. They met at the village entrance. Professor Guo Weiqing and his students also got there at the same time. The observer group was split into three teams. Team one consisted of Professor Guo and his students, and they went to the village entrance to listen to the villagers and others. Team two consisted of Xiao Xu, Liu Cheng and the CCTV reporters, and they went to the home of Qian Yunhui with the goal of asking the Qian family members to direct them to eyewitnesses (other than Qian Chengyyu) as well as people who had spoken to Qian Chengyu. Team three consisted of Shi Weijiang, Ye Yin and the Southern Metropolis Daily reporter Zhang Guodong, and went to the home of Qian Chengyu to meet his relatives.
4.8 At some time past 3pm on December 31, 2010, Team Two met with Fu Guoyong, who had previously arranged with Xiao Shu to meet at the home of Qian Liangyu. Fu gave Xiao Shu the message from Yu Jianyong, who advised the observer team to withdraw immediately because his experience told him that an mass incident was imminent. Following Yu Jianyong's direction, Xiao Shu took his team with Yu who was staying low (Xiao Shu and his teammates had no idea that Yu Jianyong was nearby). Yu called Shi Weijiang (Team Three) and re-iterated his viewpoints. Shi agreed. Shi had not see any relatives at Qian Liangyu's home. On the way back, Shi Weijiang came across China Economic Times reporter Liu Jianfeng. Shortly afterwards, he came across Xu Zhiyong. Liu Jianfeng suggested that Shi Weijiang should go to the home of Wang Liquan. Meanwhile the other members of the observer group withdrew from the village ...
4.9 At around 4pm on December 31, 2010, Shi Weijiang went to the home of Wang Liquan in the company of Liu Jianfeng and Southern Metropolis Daily reporter Zhang Guodong. They met with Wang Liquan's wife Huang Xuefen and conversed. Huang spoke about Wang Liquan's situation prior to his arrest. Shi Weijiang concentrated on the law enforcement procedures of the police. He learned that there had been no formal written notice many days after Wang was detained, and no reason was given for the detention. Huang said that there had been no written notices either on the previous occasions that Wang was detained. Shi Weijiang proposed to introduce a lawyer. Huang was scared. Even repeated explanations, Huang still refused to sign the attorney form. Shi Weijiang recorded the process on video. The accompanying reporters can testify that this is true.
4.10 At around 5pm on December 31, 2010, Shi Weijiang and Zhang Guodong came to the home of Qian Chengyu. On they way, they ran across Qian Chengu's sister Qian Chengfeng and her husband. At the Qian home, they also met with Qian Chengyu's mother and daughter. Shi Jianjiang interviewed Qian Chengyu's sister. He learned that Qian Chengyu was at his sister's house prior to being detained. She said that Qian Chengyu was detained on the third day after the incident (as shown on the detention notice). Prior to being detained, Qian Liangyu told his sister what happened:
Qian Chengyu's brother-in-law quoted: "I didn't see the person being hit. By the time I saw it, they were gone. When they saw that the person was dead, they left."
Shi Weijiang asked the sister Qian Chengfeng to repeat what Qian Chengyu said in his original words:
Qian Chengfeng said: Four persons were horsing around They were pushing, shoving, pulling, dragging. The vehicle approached slowly. The persons who were pulling and dragging dispersed. Then I saw the village director underneath the vehicle. Qian Chengyu said, "Sister, even a chicken would be screaming if crushed by a vehicle, much less than a human. (How come he didn't hear the village director scream?) Heavens!"
Question: "Did he describe what these four persons were wearing?"
Answer: "He didn't say."
Question: "What were these four persons wearing?"
Answer: "They wore helmets."
Other facts mentioned in the conversation:
4.10.1 Qian Chengyu's family told Shi Weijiang said that Qian Chengyu had missing teeth in the television interview. The family said that his teeth were perfect before. (The observer group watched the video many times. Qian Chengyu's lower teeth were intact, but his upper teeth could not be seen clearly.)
4.10.2 Qian Chengyu's family said that Qian Chengyu did not participate in the public disturbance. Several days later, the sole eyewitneess Qian Chengyu was detained.
4.10.3 Qian Chengyu's mother said that Qian Chengyu is honest and does not like to lie. But she did not hear Qian Chengyu speak about the incident.
Preliminary analysis of the conversation with Qian Chengyu's sister: This is hearsay evidence and has limited effectiveness. It is only credible in combination with other evidence.
The statement of Qian Chengyu's sister is consistent with what she told China Economic Times reporter Liu Jianfeng at around 5pm on December 29, 2010.
4.11 At around 7pm on December 31, 2010, Shi Weijiang returned to Yueqing city. The team members met and they held very different readings of the situation. Doctor Yu Jianyong and others believed that the situation in Zhaiqiao village was about to get out of control, they refused to stick to issuing uniform statements to the outside world, they refused to accept all the rules and regulations of the observation tam and they proposed to stop the fieldwork and return home to study the land problems based upon the materials on hand. Shi Weijiang did not believe that the situation was so serious and insisted on continuing to observe in the field. Since the two sides were unable to reach consensus, any discussion about the principles and division of labor was tabled.
4.12 At some time past 8pm on December 31, 2010, Xiao Shu, Shi Weijiang and others met with two other CCTV reporters and discussed their observations. The reporters said that met with Qian Chengyu and the police also let them view the relevant videos. They said that Qian Chengyu said the same thing to them as he told the other CCTV program (that is, he did not see the so-called murder carried out by four persons) but he also denied that he participated in any disruption of public order. However, the CCTV reporter provided a valuable tip: they saw Qian Chengyu making an action like the throwing of a rock in the police video from the scene ...
4.13 At some time past 10pm on December 31, 2010, Xiao Shu, Shi Weijiang and others were called by Professor Yu Jianyong to go to his hotel room. Professor Yu and others had already drafted a letter to the Yueqing authorities to ask them to gently handle the tributes that the Zhaiqiao villagers will be paying to their former director Qian Yunhui on the seventh day of the death. After discussion, the eight members of the observation group signed the statement to the Yueqing authorities asking for dialogue and negotation.
4.15 On the morning of January 1, 2011, Shi Weijiang returned to Shanghai due to an illness in the family. Pu Baoyi and Chen Jieren went to meet with Qian Chengyu's lawyer Peng Jian about the latter's meeting with his client. Peng Jian said that Qian Chengyu told him that he was on the side of the road where the vehicle was and he saw the vehicle moving slowly. At that time, there four persons in security guard uniforms looking panicky about 17 to 18 meters behind the vehicle. As he went towards the vehicle, the vehicle stopped. He got to the front left wheel of the vehicle and saw someone underneath. So he yelled, "Help! Help!" Lawyer Peng Jiang said that he was not tortured during detention. Based upon Xiao Shu's recommendation by telephone, Pu Baoyi and Chen Jieren went to observe the seventh-day mourning at Zhaiqiao village. Their overall assessment was that the situation was under reasonable control without any violence.
4.16 At noon on January 2, 2011, the scholars/civilian observation group withdrew from Zhaiqiao village based the judgment and advocation of Yu Jiangyong ...
4.19 On January 11, 2011, the lawyer of Wang Liquan went to see his client ... Wang Liquan siad that he spoke to Qian Yunhui at past 8am that morning to discuss petition materials. He did not make that call that took place after 9am. He said that he was innocent of disturbing the public order. The police told him that they had a video of him assaulting someone. He looked at the video and did not find any such activity. His lawyer did not talk to him about Qian Yunhui's multi-functional watch while the police were present.
4.20 On the morning of January 13, 2011, reporter Liu Jianfeng published his <Investigative records about the witnesses in the case of Qian Yunhgui>. On the evening of January 13, Phoenix TV broadcast a program on the death of villager director Qian Yunhui, during which it was mentioned that the watch of Qian Yunhui may be in the possession of Wang Liquan. At just past 1am on January 14, the police nabbed Wang Liquan's wife and young son. At noon on January 14, they took Wang Liquan's elder son away. Xiao Shu heard the news and contacted the Yueqing police many times via text message to demand an explanation as well the release of Wang's family members. At 5:20pm, the police texted Xiao Shu to say that all of Wang's family members have been freed. According to an informed source, Wang's family members were not interrogated. However, Wang's home was searched and Qian Yunhui's watch was taken away. But this could not be verified with the police ...
7.1 Analysis of the process
The present evidence indicates that Qian Yunhui was killed when he hit by the truck driver by Fei Liangyu. Was it intentional or accidental? The principal evidence comes from the eyewitnesses, the autopsy and the signs at the scene.
Based the evidence at hand, there is no eyewitness who has no material interest in the case.
Fei Liangyu was the driver. He is the person with the most personal interest. Whether this case was murder or accident, he is maximally interested in making this a traffic incident.
If this was a murder, then the four security guards are suspects. Therefore they have vested interests. But if this was a traffic incident according to the official version, then the four security guards did not directly observe the incident -- they can only be said to be among the earliest people to arrive at the scene. They are not eyewitnesses.
The eyewitness Qian Chengyu is a Zhaiqiao villager with a certain affection for director Qian Chengyu. He also has a vested interest because the director had been fighting for their collective rights.
7.1.2 The assessment of Qian Chengyu's testimony
Qian Chengyu's sister told China Economic Times reporter Liu Jianfeng and the members of the observation group mostly the same thing. Before Qian Chengyu was detained, he told his family members that Qian Yunhui clashed with several persons and the vehicle moved slowly. After Qian Chengyu was detained, he said something different from what he said before. Other villagers besides the sister also heard Qian Chengyu said something similar. Thus, Qian Chengyu is presently regarded as the most valuable eyewitness.
We are basically certain that Qian Chengyu's testimony changed from before to after his detention.
The observation group does not have any evidence that Qian Chengyu was threatened during his detention. But according to the Phoenix TV with the son-in-law of Qian Yunhui about being assaulted during his assault (plus other improper law enforcement by the Yueqing police), so we cannot exclude the possibility that Qian Chengyu was assaulted. Even if Qian Chengyu was not physically assaulted, it is common to see a witness changing his testimony while under detention (coercion).
According to information from a source whose identity we cannot divulge, Qian Chengyu had called the family of Qian Yunhui to ask them settle quickly so that he can get out of jail sooner.
... Thus, we are unable to judge the testimonies of Qian Chengyu until as such time that he is free.
7.1.3 Huang Diyan
The observation group was unable to hear the testimony of the so-called second eyewitness Huang Diyan. Here we cite different versions for your edification.
The first version came from China Economic Times reporter Liu Jianfeng:
The observation group can sense that everybody was fearful in Zhaiqiao village. After Huang Diyan said that she was an eyewitness, she was detained from 9am on December 29 to 1:30am on December 30. She changed her testimony afterwards.
The police have no right to detain eyewitnesses. There was no reason for the Yueqing police to detain her. According to Liu Jianfeng's description of how he observed Huang Diyan shivering, it may be reasonable to assume that the police was not asking Huang Diyan for a normal statement and that she changed her testimony against her will.
The second version came from Southern Weekend reporter Zhai Huijun and a CCTV investigative reporter. Zhai wrote that he believed in Huang's testimony at first. The next day, he received a text message from China News Weekly reporter Wang Jing to the effect that Huang is beginning to act silly, saying that her mind is warped and she can't remember anything. That evening, another reporter said that someone promised Huang 6,000 yuan to become an eyewitness. The CCTV reporter also told the observation team that Huang admitted that someone told her to say it; furthermore, Huang did not appear to be mentally stable.
We hold our doubts about the different testimonies of Huang Diyan both before and after.
7.1.4 Wang Liquan
Wang Liquan has the strongest ties with Qian Yunhui because they petitioned and went to jail together. He knew Qian very well. Our previous analysis about the detention/arrest/jailing of Qian Yunhui is equally applicable to Wang Liquan. There is no clear evidence so far that Wang Liquan was involved in causing a public disorder such that he should be detained ... Though Wang has been detained, he has not called his family to tell them to compromise. This means that he is relatively independent as compared to Qian Chengyu. This has to do with the fact that Wang and Qian Yunhui had been fellow warriors for many years. Conversely, this showed that Qian Chengyu was easier to influence from the outside.
7.1.5 Xu Xiangzhong
Many reports indicate that Xu Xiangzhong was probably the last person to call Qian Yunhui. So far, Xu Xiangzhong and the Yueqing police have not published Xu Xiangzhong's telephone call record. Under the rules of evidence, this is unfavorable to Xu. Even though there is no way to confirm this as true, we cannot preclude the possibility that Xu invited Qian Yunhui to come out to meet.
7.2 Important physical evidence.
7.2.1 The Yueqing police has not released any autopsy reports nor allowed the family of Qian Yunhui to view the body.
7.2.2 The organization who conducted the assessment for the Yueqing police was unable to determine the speed of the vehicle. This may support the previous assertion by Qian Chengyu that the truck was moving slowly, and it may also support the contention by the police that this was a traffic incident. For this reason, this piece of evidence has no effect.
7.2.3 The observation group was unable to obtain the high-resolution photographs taken by the Yueqing police. The observation group was unable to come to any conclusion based upon the photographs that are posted on the Internet.
7.2.4 Assessment of signs at the scene
Because of the attempt to seize the body of Qian Yunhui, the scene was ruined. Both sides bear some responsibility. The police have the legal right to preserve a crime scene. But that does not mean that the police should try to seize the body. They could have done so through negotiation. The villagers also lack sensible leaders who can preserve the scene, or otherwise take photos. Considering that the villagers are not professionals, the police ought to bear most of the responsibility.
7.2.5 Qian Yunhui's multi-functional watch
Since there is no evidence that this watch is in the possession of the Yueqing police or that the watch contained any audio/visual recording, this report will not analyze this.
7.3 Summary of analyses
Based upon the above, the Yueqing police are suspected of manipulating the key witnesses; the Yueqing police also rashly ruined the scene of the incident; they also declined to provide key evidence to the scholars/civilians observation group (even though they were quite willing to provide the same evidence to the CCTV reporters), thus invoking suspicion of manipulation of evidence.
The observation group believes these suspected manipulations may have occurred for one of two reasons: (1) Qian Yunhui died during an ordinary traffic incident. Due to his special status/background, it became an emergency event with unpredictable consequences. The Yueqing police got nervous and over-reacted while ignoring the legal constraints. (2) This incident was fishy and therefore aroused a lot of suspicion. The observation group is unable to figure out the reason or motive. But as long as the suspicions of manipulation are out there, any evidence produced by the Yueqing police in support of a case for traffic incident is not going to be considered objective and truthful. The members of the observation group cannot eliminate reasonable doubt.
Because of the previous road blockages, petitions, faked signatures of Qian Yunhui, etc, because of plausible vested interests for a deliberately caused death, because of certain suspected manipulations of evidence and because of coincidences such as the surveillance camera not working at the time, the observation group cannot preclude the possibility that death did not occur as a result of an ordinary traffic incident.
Based upon the above analyses, and considering that there is only indirect testimony, or testimonies from eyewitnesses who have changed their statements, or the absence of video recordings, or the lack of an autopsy report, the observation group is unable to determine if this death was not due to a traffic incident. Liu Jianfeng's report has the identities of many witnesses under confidentiality agreements and therefore unverifiable, so we cannot use any of those testimonies in this report.
8. Conclusions from the first phase of observation
8.1 Based upon the current evidence available to the observation group, we cannot conclude that Qian Yunhui's death was due to a traffic incident.
8.2 Based upon the current evidence available to the observation group, we cannot conclude that Qian Yunhui's death was due to murder.
8.3 Ultimately, the observation group believes the truth will emerge only after Qian Chengyu and Wang Liquan are free and the fearful atmosphere around Zhaiqiao village has vanished. Perhaps the truth lies in one of the many current versions, but we cannot confirm any at this time ...
8.6 The above represents the consensus of four members of the observation group: Xiao Shu, Pu Baoyi, Chen Jieren and Shi Weijiang. There is no dissent among the four members. But the above does not necessarily represent the opinions of other members of the observation group.
(Wen Wei Po) January 20, 2011.
The <Dongfang Zaobao> reporter spoke to Qian Chengxu, the son of Qian Yunhui, by telephone. At around 9pm on December 17, Qian Chengxu was notified to proceed to the Puqi town government office to discuss the compensation over the death of Qian Yunhui in a traffic incident. Qian Chengxu went down with his wife, his brother-in-law and his uncle. As for the negotiators on the other side, Qian said that he only knew the newly arrived Puqi town mayor. The discussions went on until 4am. Since Qian Chengxu was illiterate, he took the agreement document back home for his family members to read to him. He returned to the town office several hours later.
Qian Chengxu said that the initial offer was for 1 million yuan. But because the family wanted the funeral expenses to be covered, the amount was increased to 1.05 million yuan. "They said that Fei Liangyu paid more than 300,000 yuan in accordance with the standards for a traffic incident. The stone quarry and the mine quarry (being the point of origin and the final destination of the construction truck in the case) gave 'a little something' to take care of my ailing mother." Qian Chengxu said that he was uncertain about the breakdown of the 1.05 million yuan. "Anyway, there is one part here and there is another part there." Our reporter called the Yueqing city publicity department director Yang Youcai and the Puqi town publicity official Qian Xiangyong, but neither picked up.
Does the signing of the agreement mean that this case is being accepted as a traffic incident? Qian Chengxu's wife said: "What can be done? So what if we don't accept it?" One week ago, Qian Chengxu was asked to talk at the town government. At the time, the traffic police were there too. "We spoke for two to three hours. We discussed the matter of the traffic incident. They wanted to find out about the family situation. But we did not discuss compensation. This was the first time that they talked to us after that meeting." Qian Chengxu said.
Qian Chengxu said that his father's body will be cremated in a couple of days, and then they will select a date for the funeral. "Let him rest in peace first." As for the next step, Qian Chengxu said, "I am very confused right now. I am not sure about anything." Will he hire a lawyer? Qian Chengxu seemed somewhat wary: "There are good people and bad people. We don't know."
(Wufatian's blog) January 21, 2011.
The majority of the netizens deduced that the murder happened in the following manner: A construction truck was parked 5 meters in front of where Qian Yunhui was killed beforehand; someone called Qian Yunhui to lure him to come out; four persons held Qian Yunhui down; a vice mayor was present and commanding the action; more than 20 SWAT police officers were behind. Another 80 to 100 SWAT police officers were waiting in vehicles; after the incident, the police immediately mobilized 1,000 SWAT police officers to arrest people and seize the body of Qian Yunhui.
So in order to accomplish this murder mission, the relevant authorities procured one construction truck from outside Yueqing city (it had to be overloaded and it did not have all the necessary papers). There were two persons on the truck, with the driver not possessing an operator's license which is a major traffic law violation. Four persons participated directly in the murder, along with a town vice mayor. One person called Qian Yunhui to lure him to come out. The surveillance camera system was sabotaged beforehand, requiring at least one manager and one duty worker. About 100 SWAT police officers participated at first. About 1,000 SWAT police officers participated in the mop-up operations afterwards.
So here is the tally: 8 persons who participated directly in the murder; 100 SWAT police officers; 2 persons who managed/operated the surveillance system; at least three China Mobile workers because their company installed, tested and operated the surveillance system; at least ten traffic police officers (who gathered and analyzed evidence at the scene and provided the assessment); at least twenty police crime investigative detectives (at least ten from Yueqing city at first; at least another ten from Wenzhou city); at least 20 persons who conducted Internet monitoring and supervision; at least 10 armed policemen (commanders at the scene and decision-makers); 10 persons with the Yueqing and Wenzhou city political/legal committees; at least 50 reporters who investigated the case; at least 10 persons who were members of observer groups (either organizers or report writers); another 2,000 persons on the periphery (for example, the police officers who nabbed and interrogated villagers knew what was going on).
In conclusion: The local authorities marshaled human and material resources with direct costs estimated conservatively at 200 million yuan in order to murder a petitioning village director. With such tremendous resources in hand, they nevertheless chose this unbelievable manner to carry out the murder. The person who came up with this plan must be the murderer with the most imagination in the history of humankind.
(Gongmeng's Investigation Report, Second Version, January 26, 2011)
... We conducted our investigation between January 1 and January 16 to fill out and confirm certain details of the case ... Lawyer Peng Jian met with Qian Chengyu to ask about what he witnessed at the scene. Qian Liangyu basically confirmed what he found out from other sources -- that is, he did not personally witness any security guards holding Qian Yunhui down for the truck to run him over. By the time that Qian Liangyu arrived at the scene, the incident had already occurred. The lawyers for Wang Liquan asked their client about the telephone call between Wang and Qian Yunhui. Wang said that they spoke that morning about whether to send petition materials. The telephone call had no direct relation to why Qian Yunhui went out later. We investigated what Qian Yunhui did that morning, and whether town vice-mayor Xu Xiangzhong was present at the scene that morning. We checked the testimony of a self-proclaimed eyewitness and determined that it was inaccurate. We heard the police explain their forensic evidence. We traveled to Yingshang county, Anhui province to learn about the characters and histories of the driver Fei Liangyu and his partner Huang Biao.
The analysis of the 1:47 audio recording. This recording was provided by a villager as likely evidence of murder. The recording was made shortly after the incident as the traffic police were asking for information.
This recording was controversial, mainly because there were different transcriptions. When Witness E gave us this recording, he told us that it proved that Qian Chengyu told the police that he saw Qian Yunhui being held down underneath the truck. The key part is what Qian Chengyu told the traffic police. At first, Witness E translated for us: Qian Chengyu said that he saw Qian Yunhui being held down on the ground. We asked Witness E to repeat the translation exercise many times for us. Finally, we asked him to translate one word at a time. The result was: "Yunhui was down on the ground."
This audio recording is about villagers telling the traffic police what they saw and heard. Qian Chengyu did not tell the traffic police that he saw Qian Yunhui being held down by the security guards. The villagers were stating their suspicion about Qian Yunhui being murdered. They were not making accusations or testimonies about murder.
The testimony of Witness A. Witness A is Qian Chengyu. Some people suspect that Qian Chengyu may have changed his initial testimony under duress. As such, his testimony needs to be corroborated with other evidence. On the afternoon of December 30, we spoke to Qian Chengyu's sister and mother. The sister told us that Qian Chengyu told her on the night of the incident that he was in front of the truck and saw several persons standing behind the truck. The village director was underneath the truck. At the time, she did not pay too much attention to what her brother was saying. According to the 1:47 audio recording, Qian Chengyu did not tell the traffic police that he saw Qian Yunhui being held down by security guards. Netizen Wang Xiaoshan and others questioned the security guards who said that they "saw a tall villager screaming about someone being dead." Witness D said: "I was cooking at home that day. I heard someone yelling outside. I opened the door and I saw a man jumping up and down while yelling that someone is dead. Several security guards were 30 to 40 meters away."
The testimony of Qian Chengyu's sister is hearsay. If Qian Chengyu witnessed a murder, he should tell his sister about this shocking fact but he didn't. In the 1:47 audio recording, Qian Chengyu did not tell the traffic police that he witnessed a murder. The recording had a villager saying that he heard four persons holding the village director down. The traffic policeman ask, "What four persons? What four persons?" This was how the rumor got started and it is not proof of murder.
The testimony of Witness C. On January 16, 2011, Witness C told us that he personally witnessed "two security guards held Qian Yunhui down on the ground, one in the front of the wheel holding onto Qian's neck and mouth. The other was in the back of the wheel, pressing on Qian's buttocks and twisting his arm behind his back. Both security guards wore helmets so that their faces were invisible. The truck moved forward slowly for over one meter. The security guard in the back of the wheel got out from behind that front wheel. Both security gaurds stood up. They left together with the commander." He said that he had just come out after using the restroom. Qian Chengyu arrived four or five seconds later and began yelling "Yunhui has been crushed to death!" Witness C did not walk up, but went inside the village instead. Witness C said that he had signed a confidentiality agreement with a certain reporter to the effect that he will testify only if a central government leader comes.
We took Witness C's testimony very seriously. If true, it would be a major piece of evidence. But we have our doubts about his testimony. According to the wife of Witness C, she had never heard her husband talk about seeing security guards holding Qian Yunhui down. On the day of the incident, her husband told her: "I went to use the restroom. I met an acquaintance along the way and we stopped to discuss home decoration. By the time I returned, the traffic incident had taken place."
In order to verify Witness C's testimony, we simulated the scene with a loader truck that is identical to the one involved in the incident. Our truck driver came from the same village as Fei Liangyu and they worked at the same stone quarry. The bottom of the front of the truck was over 50 centimeters above ground. The front axle was over 30 centimeters above ground. An adult over 1.6 meters in height could not be holding another adult in a semi-squatting position underneath the truck. This person could not have crawled out from behind the front wheel either. Therefore, Witness C's testimony is not credible.
The mysterious telephone call. According to the testimonies made at various times by Qian Yunhui's wife and daughter, Qian came home after 7am on December 25 (he stayed away from home that night). He watched television on the second floor. Then he went downstairs to cook some noodles. He went out just past 9am taking an umbrella with him and saying "I am afraid that it might rain on the way back." According to the lawyers of Wang Liquan as well as the police, Qian Yunhui spoke to Wang Liquan three times by telephone that morning. In the third and last call, Wang called Qian to discuss about sending out petition materials. This call took place from 8:30 to 8:31. The relatives of Qian Yunhui found Qian Yunhui's phone at the scene. They checked the log and found that the most recent call was from Wang Liquan at 8:30-8:31. The story about the telephone call at 9am was neither confirmed by Qian Yunhui's family nor logged in the communication history.
The itinerary of Qian Yunhui. At just past 9am, Qian Yunhui went out to buy cigarettes. He went past the home of Witness G. Upon seeing the small child, he even made some teasing remarks. Witness G and his wife confirmed that this took place around 9:05. At the snack store by the roadside in Hua'er village 320 meters away from Zhaiqiao village, he asked the store owner (Witness H): "Do you have Liqun cigarettes?" The answer was no, with the suggestion to go to the west side and check. The time was estimated to be between 9:15 and 9:20. Witness G remembered finishing his viewing of television news at 9:05. Then he chatted with some villagers before Qian Yunhui came in to buy cigarettes. There is a small supermarket another 300 meters down the road and they have blue Liqun cigarettes. The supermarket cashier does not recall seeing Qian Yunhui whom she does not know. But this is the only supermarket that sells the blue Liqun cigarettes in this area ... It takes about 15 minutes to go from the snack store to the supermarket and back. So Qian Yunhui would be passing the snack store again at 9:35. Witness I had just stepped out of the door to wash her mop when Qian Yunhui walked by. She washed her mop in the ditch by the road, went back to mop the floor and then back to the road side again. She heard some woman yelling and saw a crowd. This process was simulated again and it took about 8 minutes to complete. So it is estimated that the incident took place about 5 minutes after Qian Yunhui walked past the snack store.
The multifunctional watch. At the time of the incident, Qian Yunhui was wearing a micro-camera watch. According to villagers, the watch was in operation at the time. When Wang Liquan got to the scene, he quickly removed the watch. But even though the villagers released some other recordings and photos as evidence of murder, they did not publish the contents of the micro-camera watch. We told many villagers that we want to see this evidence, but we got no response. We lean towards the view that the evidence (if any) supports the theory of an ordinary traffic incident and not murder. If the evidence showed murder, the villagers should have released it already.
(CCTV News Probe) The Death of Qian Yunhui. January 26, 2011.
In Puqi town, Yueqing city, Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, there is a seaside village by the name of Zhaiqiao. The Hongnan Highway passes in front of the village entrance. On the morning of December 25, 2010, 53-year-old village director Qian Yunhui was crushed to death by a construction truck at the intersection of Hongnan Highway and the village entrance. The villagers did not believe that this was an ordinary traffic incident. They circulated an allegation: someone saw Qian Yunhui being forced down on the ground by four persons for the truck to run him over. This drew intense public attentin. On the day of the incident, the media relayed five major questions from netizens: Why was the truck going down the wrong way? Why was the body of the deceased in such an unusual position? Why did the surveillance camera not work? Why did the truck not brake? How was the driver taken away from the scene? These questions lead to suspicion that Qian Yunhui might have been murdered. As time went on, more and more doubts and speculations arose on the Internet and media reports. Since the deceased was a former village director who had involved in petitioning over land requisitioning for years, those doubts increased.
On December 27, the Yueqing government held a press conference. They said that their investigation showed that Qian Yunhui died in an ordinary traffic accident. However, the skeptic voices did not die off. On that day, the Wenzhou city government announced that the incident will be investigated by a special squad from the Wenzhou city public security bureau.
Shen Qiang (Wenzhou public security bureau deputy director): Let me make a report on the progress of the investigation of the December 25 Zhaiqiao (Yueqing) incident.
VOICE OVER: On the night of December 29, the Wenzhou city government held a press conference to announce the results of the investigation.
Shen Qiang: The case has been investigated with a clear conclusion based upon firm evidence. The possibility that the Zhaiqiao (Yueqing) 12.25 incident is a murder can be excluded. The matter is determined to be a traffic incident.
Reporter: How do you know that he was run over by a truck? How do you know that he wasn't dead before and his body was placed there?
Reporter: Who made that last call to Qian Yunhui?
VO: People have many unexplained doubts about the death of Qian Yunhui? We traveled to Zhaiqiao village and interviewed the family members of Qian Yunhui. The villagers directed us to Qian Yunhui's home. The son Qian Chengxu accepted our interview, but he asked us not to show his face.
Qian Chengxu: I don't think that my father was murdered. It was a traffic incident. Our family is safe. If it was a murder case and the murderers are still at large, we are not safe.
Reporter: The public security bureau concluded that it was a traffic incident. Do you believe that conclusion now?
Qian Chengxu: I can't say.
Reporter: Why can't you say?
Qian Chengxu: Everybody is saying that Qian Chengyu said that several persons murdered him. Four persons held him down. There is this saying.
VO: Many villagers say that a villager named Qian Chengyu witnessed the process. "Four persons held Qian Yunhui down for the truck to crush him to death." They said that they heard it from Qian Chengyu first. On the day of the incident, Qian Chengyu was detained on suspicion of disrupting public order with others. He has been under detention since. People wondered if he really witnessed what people are saying that he did.
The police claimed that Qian Chengyu did not witness the moment when the incident took place and he did not say anything like that either. The police provided us with the video-taped interview with Qian Chengyu.
Police: What did you tell them?
Qian Chengyu: I said some things.
Police: What were those things?
Qian Chengyu: I said that this person was definitely murdered. I alleged (note: bragged/boasted).
Qian Chengyu: No, I gave my opinion to people.
Qian Chengyu: I speculated.
Police: What specifically?
Qian Chengyu: Specifically, I said that this person was murdered. I said that he was murdered. This couldn't be a traffic incident. I said that. I said that by the roadside.
Police: Did you say that he was held down by some uniformed persons who summoned a truck to run over him. Did you say that?
Qian Chengyu: No. I didn't say that. They said it.
Police: Who said it?
Qian Chengyu: The farmers said it. I didn't say it. I only said that there were four persons back there. I didn't say it.
VO: As the earlier eyewitness to arrive at the scene, what exactly did Qian Liangyu see? What were those four persons? Why are the villagers saying that they heard it from him? We interviewed Qian Chengyu at the Yueqing detention center.
Reporter: Were you the first villager to arrive at the scene?
Qian Chengyu: Yes. I was the first.
Reporter: What were you doing at the time?
Qian Chengyu: I didn't have anything to do after breakfast. I was crossing the road and I wondered why this vehicle was parked there.
Reporter: That is to say, why was it on the wrong side of the road?
Qian Chengyu: The wrong side. It was in the opposite direction.
Reporter: How far away were you from that vehicle?
Qian Chengyu: About fourteen to fifteen meters. I went over to look. I saw someone underneath the vehicle. I went to take a close look. It was our village director. My mind went blank. I ran seven or eight meters and I screamed: "Heavens!" for help.
Reporter: How long did it take?
Qian Chengyu: It was just over two minutes from the moment that I first spotted the vehicle.
Reporter: Why did it take one or two minutes to cover fourteen or fifteen meters?
Qian Chengyu: There were many cars coming back and forth. When a car passed by, I had to stop.
Reporter: Were there other vehicles passing by at the time?
Qian Chengyu: It was Christmas. There were many cars. There was also construction going on.
Reporter; Did you see the driver at the scene of the incident?
Qian Chengyu: I didn't see him. It would be better if I did.
VO: Qian Chengyu said that he did not see four persons holding Qian Yunhui under the wheel. But he saw four persons at the scene and he was suspicious about them.
Qian Chengyu: There were four persons behind the truck as I approached. The front of the truck was here. About one meter away. The four persons behind the truck came over like this.
Reporter: Did you see those four persons before or after you started yelling in the middle of the road?
Qian Chengyu: Before. I saw that before.
Reporter: So you saw four persons as you crossed the road. When you got to the front of the vehicle, you saw the village director. Then you went into the middle of the road to call for help?
Qian Chengyu: More or less?
Reporter: Why did those four persons look like? What did they wear?
Qian Chengyu: They wore security guard uniforms. I was somewhat suspicious about this. If they are security guards, they ought to be over there. Why did they come over to the back of the truck? I was perplexed by this.
Reporter: Many villagers say that you personally told them that you saw the village director being carried off by four persons and put under the vehicle?
Qian Chengyu: No. That didn't happen. To speak the truth, it didn't happen. I didn't say that he was carried over. You carry me over -- I am not a dead person, right or not? If I were the village director, would I let you carry me over? Couldn't I protect my village director (if I saw that)?
Reporter: So why did so many people say that you said it?
Qian Chengyu: I said that there were four persons in the back. They heard wrong. They said that four persons carried him over.
VO: Several days after the incident, another "eyewitness" surfaced in a media report. This report said that on the evening of December 28, neighboring Hua'er villager Huang Diyan showed up in Zhaiqiao village and claimed that she witnessed what happened. According to her description, "three men wearing white gloves and black surgical masks held Qian Yunhui by the arms and neck." She went up to intercede but she was shoved aside. "As she looked back, a truck parked by the side approached slowly. The three persons seized the arms of Qian Yunhui from behind and pushed his neck underneath the wheel." The police said that when they read the media report, they found Huang Diyan and questioned her. She said that she was not actually present, but a young man instructed her to make the claim.
Huang Diyan: I heard someone else say it. I don't know. That person told me not to say that I didn't see it. It was a tall young man. I don't know who he is. He told me to say that I saw it. I don't know. So I said I saw it. Some people came and asked me, and I said it. Then I went home. My husband said, "Why did you mouth off? Why don't you go and die? You fool, you fool! He kicked me in the leg. My husband said, "You fool! You fool!" I said, "You fool! You fool! When I didn't, who is going to take care of our mentally incapacitated daughter? Every day, I bathe her, I feed her and I sleep with her."
VO: Huang Diyan said that she was personally ailing and her daughter was mentally incapacitated. That young man told her that if she testified that she witnessed the incident, they will both get better.
Huang Diyan: That person told me to perform a good deed. Afterwards, my daughter will become smart and I will get better. I didn't know how to perform a good deed. He told me to say that I aw the murder.
VO: Both of the alleged eyewitnesses are saying that they did not witness the incident. According to Qian Chengyu, there were four security guards at the scene. Who were they? Why were they there? The police said that they found the security guards to be with the Yueqing Security Service Company. At the time, they were working near the scene of the incident. There is no evidence to show that they were involved in the death of Qian Yunhui. We went to the Yueqing Security Service Company and interviewed the persons who were at the scene. They said that they were hired to guard the construction project involving laying electric cables along Hongnan Highway since December 21.
Sun Jinzhu (Yueqing Security Service Company security guards captain): The villagers interfered with the laying of the cable along this section. If the villagers cause trouble or whatever, we will try to stop them so that the construction can proceed.
Reporter: How did you work each day?
Sun Jinzhu: There were about 100 or so of us. Each vehicle carried ten to twenty persons. When work was going on, we sent a few people to look around, to patrol.
VO: Qian Chengxu, the son of Qian Yunhui, also mentioned that there were quite a few security guards along the road during that time.
Qian Chengxu: Before the incident ... about six days before ... we had three road intersections ... each intersection had at least one or two vehicles to protect the scene. They were on the road for those six days.
VO: The security guards said that construction was halted on the day of the incident due to rain. The team members sat in their buses and waited for orders. One bus was parked in the direction behind the scene of the incident, about forty to fifty meters away. A security guard named Zheng Yuanzhang was out of the bus at the time of the incident.
Zheng Yuanzhang: At the time, I got out of the vehicle to go to urinate on the other side.
Reporter: You happened to get off the bus.
Zheng Yuanzhang: Yes. I took a couple of steps and I heard the sound of braking. I turned around and looked. That person was already underneath the truck.
VO: Zheng Yuanzhang ran back to the bus and told the others. One security guard got out of the bus and ran over to look.
Zhang Hui (Yueqing Security Service Company security guard): I thought that he was joking. I said that it was not possible. I went over to look. That person was underneath the wheel.
Cai Debao (Yueqing Security Service Company security guard): At the time, two of our team members got off the bus. So I called them back. At the time, I also got off the bus.
Reporter: Why did you want to call them back?
Cai Debao: We were not to get out of the bus without the captain's orders.
VO: Captain Sun Jinzhu was patrolling nearby. He got a call from his team and arrived quickly at the scene.
Sun Jinzhu: I went over to the front of the vehicle and looked. The two doors to the driver's cabin was open. The engine was still running. There was no driver present.
VO: At the time, they all saw a villager running into the middle of the road and yelling.
Sun Jinzhu: I saw this person. He was definitely dead. I turned around and called 110. When I turned around after finishing the call, the tall man said, "That's him. This one. The one making the telephone call." I don't know what the specific reasons were. I was surrounded by four to five villagers and assaulted by them.
Reporter: What did they mistake you were?
Sun Jinzhu: I don't know. He just said that it was the one making the telephone call.
Reporter: How was the misunderstanding cleared up afterwards?
Sun Jinzhu: There was not explanation. They surrounded me and attacked me. They ripped my gold chain off. Several team members saw me being attacked. They came down from the bus and pulled me off. I began to run. The tall guy had something in his hand. I couldn't see what it was. I kept running and he kept chasing me. After running for more than 100 meters, they caught me again and gave me another violent beating.
VO: These security guards wore uniforms that had the words POLICE on them. This is against the <Law for People's Police>. According to one rumor, many SWAT police officers showed up at the scene immediately and clashed with the police. Based upon the timing, these rumored SWAT police officers could be those security guards.
Sun Jinzhu: Bricks and other stuff were flying over at us. We used our shields to protect ourselves as we retreated.
Reporter: Then what?
Sun Jinzhu: Then we fled. I withdrew the entire team.
VO: Afterwards, the family of Qian Yunhui raised a question They said that Qian Yunhui left home hastily after receiving a call. They wondered whether this had something to do with his death.
Qian Chengxu: He made some noodles downstairs. As my mother ate, some old folks came and chatted with my father. He made the noodles. He ate the noodles. It took at least half an hour. As my mother was eating the noodles, my father's phone rang. This was at least after 8:30.
Reporter: Your father got a phone call.
Qian Chengxu: He got a telephone call. My father went out the door. This was someone he knew who may be asking to meet with my father.
VO: Many people speculate that the telephone call was used to lure Qian Yunhui to the village entrance. Thus, the death of Qian Yunhui may not be a simple traffic incident. At the press conference, the police made this explanation about the telephone call.
Huang Xiaozhong (Wenzhou City Public Security Bureau spokesperson): We investigated the matter. We found that the caller was the fellow villager named Wang. According to Wang, he called mainly to discuss certain village business and it was unrelated to the traffic incident itself.
VO: This villager is Wang Liquan. He is presently under detention on suspicion of disrupting public order.
Reporter: Did you call Qian Yunhui on the day of the incident?
Wang Liquan: Yes.
Reporter: About what time?
Wang Liquan: Just past 8am.
VO: Wang Liquan had been petitioning with Qian Yunhui for years over the land requisition issue. He said that he was on a public bus to Hongqiao village that morning when he got a call from Qian Yunhui.
Wang Liquan: Obviously, it was hard to talk on a bus. So I terminated the call while I was in the bus. When I got off, I called him back. He asked me whether I had any more of the petition materials. He did not say where he wants to sent them. He asked me if I had any. I said that there was no more.
Reporter: Did you ask him to meet at the village entrance?
Wang Liquan: No. Why would I want to meet him?
Reporter: Someone suspected that there was a call to lure the village director to the village entrance to kill him.
Wang Liquan: Why would I murder him? It is the same if he dies or I die, right?
Reporter: It's the same if he dies or you die?
Wang Liquan: We have been petitioning for so long. We spend several millions of yuan. If one of the two dies, someone will say that I spent the money and others will say that Qian Yunhui spent the money. How do we settle that? Some of the spending came with receipts, others don't.
VO: According to the Wenzhou police, they found that the last call that Qian Yunhui received was at 8:31. The call lasted 47 seconds and the calling number was Wang Liquan's mobile phone. Wang Liquan said that his call had nothing to do with the incident. Nevertheless he still wondered whether Qian Yunhui was murdered.
Wang Liquan: Someone directed the construction truck to come over. The ambush was set up. This is possible.
Reporter: Do you think that it was a specially arranged traffic incident to hit someone?
Wang Liquan: Yes.
VO: There was a camera at the intersection where Qian Yunhui was hit. Afterwards, people learned that the camera did not record the incident. A report said that the camera "mysteriously failed to work." The police said that the camera did not disappear and it did not fail to work suddenly. The camera had been newly installed four days before the incident and its storage function had not been activated. The camera installation work had been given to China Mobile's Yueqing office. We interviewed the relevant workers there.
Jiang Asui (Wenzhou Communications Service Company Engineering Department manager) This project was in construction phase and was not officially operational. Construction began on December 21.
Reporter: Shouldn't the equipment work immediately?
Jiang Asui: After we installed it, we found that the screen was shaking. We had been installing standard definition cameras previously. This one was a high definition camera. We suspected that there broadband frequency problems On December 22, 23 and 24, we were replacing the camera.
Reporter: What was it like on December 25? This camera?
Jiang Asui: We can watch it on real time. But we were still adjusting and we had not officially finished, we couldn't store anything.
VO: The China Mobile Yueqing workers said that they received a call from the police at noon that day, and they immediately started to store the surveillance data.
Chen Chaoteng (Yueqing Mobile Network Department deputy manager): We began to store data at around 12:52.
Reporter: It is possible that the camera was already recording but the last video was not released?
Chen Chaoteng: If there are any doubts, we are willing to show the operational log. The record exists.
Reporter: Can we see it? How can you prove that there was no video storage at the time?
Yang Linjian (Yueqing Mobile Network Department technician): We can open this. We do screen captures. We can also provide the printed information.
Reporter: It is printed out here?
Yang Linjian: Yes.
Reporter: What can be seen here?
Yang Linjian: The time was 12:52:21, December 25 when storage was successfully set up. The three numbers 2744, 45 and 46 referred to the three spots in Zhaiqian village.
Reporter: Were there any records about these cameras before this time?
Yang Linjian: You can print it out here. There is nothing. There is no record whatsoever. Everything that you do is recorded there. All the instructions. If you delete something, it will be noted here too.
Reporter: You can even see the deletions?
Yang Linjian: The deletions are recorded.
VO: The camera should have been the most reliable witness. Regrettably, it was unable to provide the evidence. As of now, only the two persons on the truck could describe what happened at that moment: Fei Liangyu and Huang Biao. Fei Liangyu was the vehicle owner. Huang Biao came from the same hometown and he was hired by Fei Liangyu as a driver. At the time, Fei Liangyu was the driver. But he did not own an operator's license.
Reporter: You still don't have a driver's license?
Fei Liangyu: I still have the last of the three exams to pass.
Reporter: Had you any thought about not driving when you don't have a license?
Fei Liangyu: I had been driving the vehicle for some time already. I went to get gas, add water or take the place of the driver while he ate. I did it before.
Reporter: Did you remind him that it was better that you drive?
Huang Biao: We usually take turns at driving.
VO: After the incident, Fei Liangyu was arrested for involvement in a traffic incident. Huang Biao tried to take the blame for Fei Liangyu and claimed falsely that he was the driver. He was sentenced to 10 days of administrative detention plus a 200 yuan fine. We interviewed the two about the moment of the incident.
Fei Liangyu: When I got to that spot, there was a pedestrian right in front of me. He was going quickly from my right to my left. My immediate reaction was to sound the klaxon. He glanced at me, raised his hand a bit and continued ahead.
Reporter: What was the meaning of the raising of the hand?
Fei Liangyu: I don't understand. He raised his hand, glanced at me and continued walking.
Reporter: How far was he from you when you first saw him?
Fei Liangyu: Five to six meters, six to seven meters, something like that. He came over from the blocked half of the road. By the time that I saw him, he was in the middle of the road. I sounded the klaxon and I expected him to stop. The normal thinking is that he would pause a bit and I could get by. He did not stop. He continued walking. I braked immediately and veered left to avoid him. But I wasn't able to avoid him.
Reporter: How fast was the truck going at the time?
Fei Liangyu: Not more than 40 kilometers per hour. It is very hard to brake an overloaded vehicle.
VO: Huang Biao said he saw the pedestrian even later than Fei Liangyu.
Huang Biao: I was in the passenger seat. I had adjusted my seat lower, so I spotted him even later. I saw the person after the klaxon sounded. Fei steered the vehicle to the left while braking at the same time. But the person kept going to the left. This was what I saw.
VO: After the incident, an Internet post said that "there was no sign of braking at all" which meant that the driver intentionally hit the pedestrian. The police posted photos from the scene, and explained that the left front wheel left 5.4 meters of brake marks. The marks showed no car tire patterns so that it was made by a skidding wheel (as opposed to a rolling wheel). The police said that this was enough to show that the driver braked the vehicle.
Fei Liangyu: I got out before I even turned off the engine. I wanted to see how he was. Above all, I hoped that he was still alive. But I saw that he was probably dead under my left front wheel. I immediately took out my telephone and called 110 for the police.
VO: We went to the Yueqing city 110 command center to examine the police activity log. The person on duty told us that they received five 110 calls about the incident. The first call was found to have come from Fei Liangyu at 9:46.
Reporter: Can I listen to the audio recording? The first one.
Police officer on duty: Here is the recording.
Fei Liangyu: How are you? There has been a traffic incident.
Police officer: Where did this traffic incident take place?
Fei Liangyu: In Huayi village, Hongqiao town.
Police officer: Huayi village?
Fei Liangyu: Yes. On Hongnan Road, Puqi town.
Police officer: Two vehicles collided with each other?
Fei Liangyu: No. It was a person. A person. A person was hit. A construction truck hit a person.
Police officer: A construction truck? Did anyone get hurt? Is it serious?
Fei Liangyu: He may be dead.
Police officer: Oh?
Fei Liangyu: He may be dead.
Police officer: So, where is the person? Sent to the hospital? Or what?
Fei Liangyu: No, no. Under the truck.
Police officer: Fine. I will tell the division personnel to come over and look.
VO: Fei Liangyu said that Huang Biao went home after the incident. He himself stayed and watched from a spot that didn't draw attention. He saw Qian Chengyu and he also witnessed the clash between the villagers and the security guards.
Fei Liangyu: There were several vehicles parked there. One person -- I don't know if he was police officer or security buard -- came over to the vehicle and looked. That villager went up to stop him. More and more people came. Afterwards the bricks and whatever began to fly in the air.
Reporter: Where were you?
Fei Liangyu: I was on the right side of the road. The side that was blocked off.
VO: After the incident, three officers from the Puqi town border patrol arrived first at the scene. Since their post was only several kilometers away, they got to the scene in seven minutes. The traffic police from the Hongqiao Division also got there. Fei Liangyu quietly identified the traffic police that he was the vehicle owner and the traffic police took him away from the scene.
Fei Liangyu: The police vehicle belonged to the Hongqiao traffic police division. I rode back in that police car. I got there more than ten minutes later.
[Note: Fei Liangyu said that he was the vehicle owner but that the driver was not at the scene. However, he told the traffic police that he could locate the driver. The traffic police let him leave to find the driver. Fei went back to his rented home and found Huang Biao. They came up with the cover story that Huang was driving at the time. They did so because Fei was unlicensed. However, the traffic police were able to see through the lie, and the two confessed. Huang was sentenced to administrative detention for lying to the police while Fei was detained as a suspected criminal. Fei is awaiting trial.]
VO: After the incident, many of the questions centered around the driver. What proof was there that he did not set up an ambush there? How can it be sure that he didn't deliberately ram Qian Yunhui? Fei Liangyu siad that he drove back and forth between the Hongqiao town Wandi vilalge stone quarry and the Lingang Development Zone Landfill Project every day, and Zhaiqiao village was right in the middle of the route. He got into a traffic incident during a routine delivery assignment.
Reporter: What did you do from the moment that you got out of bed that morning?
Fei Liangyu: Nothing. I got out of bed that morning and I went to the hospital to visit my wife.
Reporter: then waht?
Fei Liangyu: After getting back from the hospital, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go. It was raining and I wasn't sure if there were any work. My driver called me to say that there was an assignment.
Reporter: You said that you went to see your wife the first thing in the morning. How is she?
Fei Liangyu: She is sick.
Reporter: She came from your hometown to be with you?
Fei Liangyu: Yes.
Reporter: When did you come to Yueqing?
Fei Liangyu: In September. A hometown resident recommended a job for me.
Reporter: Who else is in your family besides your wife?
Fei Liangyu: My parents. My child.
Reporter: How old is your child?
Fei Liangyu: Nine years old.
Reporter: Boy or girl?
Fei Liangyu: Boy.
VO: Was Fei Liangyu telling the truth? We went to the Wandi Village stone quarry and found the construction truck sub-contractor Lao Gao. He is from the same hometown as Fei Liangyu. He said that Fei Liangyu recently purchased that truck and came from Anhui to Yueqing to work.
Lao Gao: Before he bought the truck, he called me and asked whether he should buy the truck and come over here. I said that he needed to come over and see for himself. Fei Liangyu came over and looked around. Then he went home and bought the truck.
Reporter: How long has he been here?
Lao Gao: For more than two months.
Reporter: I heard that Fei Liangyu still has his parents and a child at home.
Lao Gao: His parents are still around. I don't know if he has a child. I haven't been home for many years.
Reporter: You came out to work a long time ago.
Lao Gao: I worked in Ningbo city for 15 years.
Reporter: Fei Liangyu told us that his wife is staying in hospital. What is the situation?
Lao Gao: His wife was in hospital. The doctor said that her condition was serious. They gave her a shot, and then told my driver to take her back home. She has no money to pay for more treatment. This is how it is.
Reporter: There have been many rumors since the incident. I am sure that you have heard many of them.
Lao Gao: I think that it has been unfair. All he ever did was to add water or wash the truck every day. I saw all that. Deliberate murder? Who would borrow money to buy a truck worth several hundreds of thousand yuan and then do something like this?
Reporter: Did he take the same route every day to deliver rock materials?
Lao Gao: This is the only way. There is only one way. There is no other way.
Reporter: How far is the distance from the stone quarry to the location of the incident?
Lao Gao: I estimate it to be 3 kilometers. More than 3 kilometers.
VO: There were some surveillance cameras between the stone quarry and the location of the incident. The police obtained those surveillance videos for that day. Two of the videos recorded Fei Liangyu's vehicle. The first one taken at the stone quarry exit. At around 9:38, a vehicle came out. The showed the right side of the vehicle which had the number 23 on the side. In the videos from the scene of the incident, the right side of the truck also had the number 23 in the same spot. The second video was taken at the entrance of Huayi village around 9:42. A construction truck came by and the video showed its left side. The video was not of sufficient resolution so as to read the license plate numbers. But the details matched Fei Liangyu's truck. Zhaiqiao village is just ahead of the Huayi village entrance. The police believed that the timing on the surveillance videos is consistent with the basic process by which Fei Liangyu ran over Qian Yuhui. That is, the construction truck did come from the stone quarry and was not parked in ambush at the Zhaiqiao village entrance.
Reporter: There is a rumor that you were directed or hired by someone?
Fei Liangyu: No. I have no relatives or acquaintances in Yueqing apart from some hometown folks.
Reporter: Some people wondered if you needed money?
Fei Liangyu: I lack money. I have lacked money since I was a child. But I earned all my money through legal methods. I don't need that kind of money.
Reporter: Do you know the deceased?
Fei Liangyu: I don't know him. I now know that his name is Qian Yunhui. I didn't know him before. If the family of the deceased can see this, I want to ask for their forgiveness. Really.
Reporter: Can you forgive yourself?
Fei Liangyu: I cannot forgive myself. I am very sorry now. Really. I am very very sorry. I feel that I have let down the family of the deceased person as well as my own family. Both families.
VO: The position of Qian Yuhui's dead body was one of the causes of public skepticism. He was leaning down, his face pointed downwards in the manner of being pressed into the ground as rumored. Someone said that if he was really hit by the truck, his body should be in the same direction as the vehicle. But his death position was perpendicular to the direction of the truck. How was this possible in a traffic incident? We interviewed the police expert on analyzing marks at the scene.
Gao Wenyuan (Wenzhou Forensic Science and Technology Research Center Mark Analysis Laboratory director): We collected a lot of information on marks at the scene and we constructed what happened.
VO: According to police officer Gao Wenyuan, there were three fresh scrape marks on the construction truck. The first one was on the left side of the front bumper of the truck. There were clear signs that this was the result of scraping and friction. The second mark was at the bottom of the water tank, where one piece of dirt had clearly been scraped off. The third mark was at the bottom of the axle which exhibited the same appearance.
Gao Weunyuan: One here, one there, and another at the axle. One two three. These positions. Based upon their paths and scrape directions, they are consistent with a series of consecutive actions.
VO: According to the order to these three spots, they occurred during one sequence of actions. Qian Yunhui collided with the vehicle and was then swept underneath. This assessment was supported by the visual inspection of the body of the deceased.
Gao Wenyuan: A very important sign on the left side of the thigh. At about 84 centimeters from the bottom of the ffot, there was a purplish bruise mark. This is the spot which collided with the bumper on the vehicle.
VO: There were bruise marks on Qin Yunhui's left inner thigh about 84 centimeters from the bottom of the foot. The scrape mark on the left side of the bumper was 74 centimeters above ground. The heights are consistent. The police determined that this was the initial point of impact between Qian Yunhui and the vehicle. Qian Yunhui was standing at the time and the left side of his body collided with the vehicle.
Gao Wenyuan: The visual examination of the body showed that his right side was muddied but his back was relatively clean. His left side was also relatively clean. What does this tell us? He fell down on the ground on his right side.
Reporter: The body of the deceased was at 90 degrees perpendicular to the direction which the truck was moving alone. People think that this is unreasonable.
Gao Wenyuan: A person is not like an iron pipe -- id you are hit, you fall straight down. His body may be leaning forwards, so that when he got hit and feel down on the ground, his neck/head made contact with the left front wheel. The body was propelled forward. His body and his feet formed a certain angle as a result. This is not inconsistent with the situation at the time.
VO: The police believe that based upon Fei Liangyu's testimony and the signs at the scene, they can reconstruct the original incident. At the time, there was electric cable construction on the right side of Hongnan Road, so that vehicles can only travel on the two left lanes. Fei Liangyu's construction truck was going from west to east on Hongnan Road. When the truck neared the Zhaiqiao village entrance, Qian Yunhui crossed the road from south to north while holding an opened umbrella in hand. Fei Liangyu saw Qian Yunhui who was five or six meters in front. Fei sounded the klaxon, veered left and braked quickly. But Qian Yuhui continued to walk ahead. A collision occurred on the left side of the front of the truck. The right side of Qian's body hit the ground. Qian's neck and chest were propelled forward by the car tire. Death occurred instantaneously.
In the many doubts about the death of Qian Yunhui, the way that the police handled the situation was one constant issue. There were clashes between police and villagers that day. The villagers said that the police tried to "seize the body" several times that day as well as arresting many villagers. The Yueqing police bulletin said that "the family of the deceased and other villagers set up a mourning hall at the scene, formed illegal road blocks and interfered with police investigation at the scene." "Certain villagers were incited to attack the police such that the police had to take appropriate measures."
Reporter: When the police wanted to remove with body, there was a clash with the villagers. Someone used the term "seizing the body."
Huang Xiaozhong: The family's consent is not required in order to move the body to the funeral parlor. Many reporters mixed up the concepts of whether family consent is needed to take the body to the funeral parlor and whether family consent is needed for an autopsy. Right? In truth, the body was moved to the funeral parlor and no autopsy was conducted. There was no need for us to conduct an autopsy in a simple traffic incident case. Therefore it is necessary to emphasize that the body was moved to the funeral parlor to preserve the evidence in case certain people take actions that can interfere with the investigation. Also, we needed to restore normal traffic. Even as they stopped us from moving the body, they were erecting a mourning hall in the road. If you say that we cannot move the body without their agreement, then how can we insure that traffic moves along normally? We had to take forceful action against these types of activities.
Reporter: Is there no better way to handle this?
Huang Xiaozhong: When our border patrol officers go there, they saw one of our intern police officer who was wearing camouflage. They said that this was the driver and they attacked him. The public security division came and they attacked the division captain. As more and more gathered there, we had to bring out the SWAT police. Whether it was quelling the situation or evacuated the injured personnel, we had to use force. That is to say, we employed force in proportion to what we were encountering.
VO: The police said that certain villages violently interfered with police work. Five police officers were injured. The police provided us with some of the videos from the scene.
VO: While we were interviewing around Yueqing city, six villagers were detained including the major eyewitness Qian Chengyu and the villager Wang Liquan who made the last call to Qian Yunhui. To the public, these were important persons related to the truth of the case, and they are skeptical as to why the police are detaining them.
Reporter: Qian Chengyu is the reputed eyewitness. This eyewitness is under detention. Why is he being detained?
Huang Xiaozhong: This is very clear. He was interfering with official business. At the time, he was a major participant.
Reporter: Is there any clear evidence?
Huang Xiaozhong: Of course there is clear evidence. Apart from his own admission, there were many other evidence including video information.
Reporter: Wang Liquan is a villager who has petitioned alongside Qian Yunhui for many years. Why is Wang Liquan being detained?
Huang Xiaozhong: Like Qian Chengyu, he was interfering with official business. He interfered with, and even violently attacked our police officers.
Reporter: When we interviewed Wang Liquan, he denied that he did so.
Huang Xiaozhong: We let our investigative results speak for themselves. The evidence has been provided to the procuratorate.
Reporter: What evidence? Can it be revealed publicly?
Huang Xiaozhong: Of course. We have revealed them to some degree during the last two press conferences. But the entire body of evidence can only be revealed at the public trial.
Reporter: When the public trial takes place, the evidence that you mentioned will be revealed?
Huang Xiaozhong: At the court trial, the most important mission is to scrutinize the evidence from the investigations. And then the arguments can begin.
Reporter: Did the police investigation lead to the conclusion that the facts and evidence could not possibly suggest murder?
Huang Xiaozhong: Absolutely.
Huang Xiaozhong: Yes.
Reporter: But this is vastly different from what many people feel. Many people are saying that they have not seen facts and evidence that can convince them. They don't feel that it is adequate. How did the gap arise?
Huang Xiaozhong: Certain coincidental factors pushed things that way. For example, the surveillance video system was newly installed. The villagers should know when installation was taking place. But nobody explained that, or was willing to explain that. In addition, Qian Yunhui had special emotional bonds with the villagers. As a result, the villagers got emotional and came up with these associations and speculations.
Reporter: How could a simple traffic incident raise so many questions and create such a huge social impact? What do you think are the reasons?
Huang Xiaozhong: As one netizen says well ... he said that the truth you want may be the one that you pre-determined beforehand. You compare this against the police version. If they match, you accept it; if they don't match, you reject it. Our conclusions have to be based upon the facts. We cannot base it upon some pre-established position. The public security apparatus needs to have reasonable basis for its conclusions. We need our media to fairly and objectively report. That is important too, and it is not about doing sensationalistic reporting.
Reporter: Aren't reporters supposed to raise certain questions based upon their own investigations about a matter that is of great public interest?
Huang Xiaozhong: That is an age-old saying. There should be no bars hold on the basis of truth and objectivity. Let me give you an example. A reporter raised a question at the press conference that a netizen had taken a photo of the bumper on the truck and compared it against the one that we posted on the Internet. The netizen's photo showed no scrape mark but ours did. See, the police faked the photo because my photo showed no scrape mark! But the fact is that both photos showed bumpers with four drilled holes. Except our photo showed four round holes and the netizen's showed three round ones and one square . As as serious and rigorous reporter, you should be able to tell that the photos came from two different trucks. Right? Reporters can raise questions, but they need to do their homework first.
Reporter: Are there points that can be discussed about how transparent and open the information has been?
Huang Xiaozhong: Frankly, if this case weren't so special, many of the evidence should not have been revealed so early on. The reason for confidentiality is to guarantee that the case will be handled fairly. If you reveal your evidence too early, it will affect the testimony of others who haven't been interviewed yet. The state laws, especially as they relate to procedural matters, are based accumulated experiences. Therefore, we don't think that we revealed too little, but we revealed quite a bit.
VO: On January 4, the Wenzhou city procuratorate approved the formal arrest of the driver Fei Liangyu in a traffic incident. The case has gone into the judicial phase. The Wenzhou police said that all the case evidence will be revealed in the court trial.
The Truth Within The Cacophony (2011/1/29) (People's Daily)
On the morning of December 25, 2010, 53-year-old villager Qian Yunhui was killed by a construction truck on Hongnan Highway by Zhaiqiao village, Puqi town, Yueqing city, Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province.
This incident became a hot local issue which was quickly hyped up on the Internet. Some netizens suspected that this was a deliberate murder and not just an ordinary traffic incident. They raised certain questions: Why was the construction truck going down the wrong way on the highway? Why was the position of the body of the deceased so unusual? Why did the surveillance camera at the intersection fail to work? Why was the driver taken away so quickly?
On December 27, the Yueqing city government held a press conference to announce: the death of Qian Yunhui occurred during an ordinary traffic incident. On December 29, the Wenzhou city government also held a press conference and the conclusion of the city investigator squad was the same.
But the matter did not stop there as rumors abounded on the Internet.
On January 28, our reporter interviewed the relevant police investigators.
Question: Rumor #1: Qian Yunhui was held down on the ground for the truck to crush him to death?
Answer: This rumor was passed from mouth to mouth with embellishments along the way. The villagers said that the villager Qian Chengyu witnessed the incident, and they heard the story of Qian Hunhui being held down by four persons to crush to death from him. But Qian Chengyu said: He never used the term "held down." According to him, he saw a vehicle stopped fourteen to fifteen meters ahead of him. He went from the back of the vehicle to the front and saw Qian Yunhui underneath the wheel. Because of his close friendship with Qian Yunhui, he felt bad and he also through that this must be murder. But he did not personally see the incident happen.
The other "eyewitness" Huang Diyan was not at the scene at the time of the incident.
There was a bus carrying security guards at a short distance from the scene. One security guards got off the bus to urinate. He turned around when he heard a braking sound and saw someone was down. He went back to the bus to notify his companions and they went over to look.
Neither Qian Chengyu nor the security guards saw anyone in the driver's cabin of the truck.
Question: Was the rumored murder method plausible?
Answer: It is impossible. If four persons held one person down on both sides of his body, the first people to get hit by the truck would those holding him down.
Question: Rumor #2: The construction truck was going down the wrong way of the highway. There were no brake marks.
Answer: At the time, there was construction on the right side of the road. The vehicle had to come down on the left side.
As for the braking, the inspection of the scene showed that there was a clear skid mark from the front wheel, but not so obvious on the rear wheels. Possibly the overloaded truck was unable to brake effectively. According to the photos taken by the police, there was a brake mark 5.4 meters long for the left front wheel. The mark was smooth with no sign of tire patterns, showing that it was made by sliding and not rolling. This is sufficient to show that the driver had the brakes on at the time. In the micro-recording made by the deceased, there was also the sound of braking.
Question: There is a rumor that the construction truck had been waiting at the scene.
Answer: The construction truck could not have been waiting there. This was proven by the surveillance videos taken along the route. This is the normal route between the stone quarry and the construction site. The truck went past this spot every day. The police obtained the surveillance videos along the route. Two videos recorded the presence of this construction truck. The first video showed that a vehicle left the stone quarry entrance at around 9:38. The other video showed a construction truck passing by the Huayi village entrance at about 9:42. The details of the truck in these videos match those of the truck involved in the incident. Zhaiqiao village is just down the road from Huayi village. The police believed that the timings shown on the videos flow continuously to the time when Qian Yunhui was struck. The truck came directly from the stone quarry and was not waiting at the Zhaiqiao village entrance.
Question: From the viewpoint of the criver, Qian Yunhui was going from right to left. If the driver veered to the left, why was Qian Yunhui swept under the left wheel?
Answer: To avoid hitting the person, the driver could not veer right because there was materials stacked on the roadside. So he can only veer left. The driver braked about five meters away from Qian Yunhui. But Qian continued to walk ahead to outrun the car. The driver braked but the truck was severely overloaded and the road was wet from the rain. So the truck could not stop in time. The left front safety bumper hit Qian Yunhui. He got swept under the left front wheel because he was hit by the safety bumper on the left side.
Question: Rumor #3: The body of the deceased was at an angle of 90 degrees to the truck. This is not what happens in a normal traffic incident.
Answer: According to the visual inspection, the body and the wheel were not perpendicular to each other. Instead, the head was pointed forwards and the feet pointed backwards. This is consistent with the body being dragged along the ground in a traffic incident. After the person was knocked down on the ground, the truck continued to come. The left wheel made contact with the neck of the deceased and propelled the body forward. The body and feet were not subjected to any forced, so they were bent to a certain angle. This is not inconsistent with what happened.
Based upon the visual inspection of the body of the deceased, there was a contusion on the left thigh at a distance of 84 centimeters from the ground. The safety bumper was 74 centimeters from the ground. There was a scrape mark on the top left corner of the safety bumper, which was consistent with the contusion on the thigh. This was the initial point of impact between truck and person. Qian Yunhui was standing at the time when his body was hit on the left side by the truck.
Question: Rumor #4: the surveillance camera at the intersection was not working
Answer: The camera did not disappear suddenly, nor was it not working suddenly. The camera was installed on December 21. At the time of the incident, it was still being tested and adjusted. The police investigated the documents for procuring the equipment, and found the date was consistent with the installation date. At the time of the incident, the testing was not yet completed. While the camera had real-time viewing capability, the recording function was not turned on. So there was no recorded data. Netizens suspect that the camera was recording but the data had been deleted. The police obtained the computer diary for the command center and did not find any indication of deletion. The operating system retains the record of any deletions or other commands.
Question: Rumor #5: the driver was taken away quickly.
Answer: The driver Fei Liangyu was not taken away quickly. He got out of the truck first. He checked the condition of Qian Yunhui and then he called the police. The call was made at 9:46. The police call center had the telephone record and we have verified that it was his voice. The driver did not leave after he got out of the truck. He remained a short distance away to wait for the traffic police. About seven or eight minutes later, the traffic police arrived at the scene. He went up to the traffic police and identified himself as the driver involved in the incident. Because the excited villagers were clashing with the security guards, the traffic police put him into their police vehicle to make sure that he can testify later as well as protect his well-being.
The police found Qian Yunhui's watch
Our reporter found from the Wenzhou public security bureau that on January 14 the Yueqing city "Qian Yunhui" investigation team obtained the multifunctional watch worn by Qian Yunhui. The micro-recording in the watch accurately recorded the entire process of how Qian Yunhui died in the traffic incident on December 25, 2010. This provided further evidence in support of the police conclusions.
According to the police, villager Wang Liquan removed the watch from Qian Yunhui before the police arrived and gave it to his wife Chen Yating to hide. Chen Yating subsequently asked the neighbor named Chen to hide it in his own. On the night of January 13, Wang Liquan told the investigators about the watch. On January 14, the neighbor named Chen was persuaded by town workers to voluntarily turn over the watch to the local police.
The details of the audio-visual data on the watch will be disclosed in the court trial scheduled for February 1.
Keep your commonsense, recognize the rumors
Rumors were flying all over the place in the case of Qian Yunhui. At first, someone gave false testimony. More importantly, there were people who only wanted chaos and used the Internet media to manufacture and disseminate rumors.
Rumors are stopped when people are smart. Rumors are usually full of holes because they are false. Smart people can often detect the flaws. In the case of Qian Yunhui, the flaws are quite obvious: Most murders take place in the dark, but Qian Yunhui died in broad daylight on the side of a major road. Even the dumbest person would not choose to commit murder at such a time and location. The initial lie was that four security guards held Qian Yunhui down to be run over by a truck. Under normal circumstances, these four persons will be around Qian Yunhui. When the truck rolls over, at least two of the security guards will be close to the truck than Qian Yunhui. How did they get off safely?
Commonsense is the most effective tool against rumors. If everybody keeps their commonsense, they can be smart and recognize the rumors.
The Death Of The Village Director, As Recorded On Video (2011/1/31) Zhaiqiao village ex-director Qian Yunhui was wearing a multifunctional watch with video-recording capability at the time when he died on December 25, 2010. After his death, the villager Wang Liquan removed the watch and took it home. According to the prosecutor, Wang got his son named Chen to download the contents to a computer and watched the videos. Because the videos did not support the thesis of murder, Wang kept the watch and told his son to spread the rumor of murder on the Internet. This became a celebrated case in which people divided themselves into opposite camps. Several witnesses appeared to say that they saw Qian Yunhui being held down by three to four SWAT police officers for the truck to run over him. The police were able to track down the watch eventually. At the trial of the driver Fei Liangyu today, the video of the death of Qian Yunhui was shown. Here it is:
There is also a 30-minute full version including what happened after Qian Yunhui died.
(Associated Press) China convicts driver who ran over lobbying farmer Gillian Wong February 1, 2011.
A Chinese court on Tuesday convicted and sentenced a driver to jail for running over a village leader in a case that raised suspicions the victim was murdered to stop his efforts to seek compensation for seized land.
Farmer Qian Yunhui was crushed under the wheel of a large red truck on Dec. 25 outside his Zhaiqiao village in eastern China's Zhejiang province, where he and others had earlier blocked the road to prevent the construction of a power plant.
His death underscored a growing lack of trust in China's government as rampant corruption and official abuse erode public confidence. Rumors spread quickly online that Qian had been killed to stop his persistent attempts to lobby the government on behalf of his village. Angry essays circulated on the Internet, and academics, activists and journalists organized independent probes.
Police ruled Qian's death a traffic accident and the Yueqing People's Court on Tuesday found the driver of truck, Fei Liangyu, guilty of causing the accident by driving without a license and overloading his truck.
Fei was sentenced to three and a half years' imprisonment, said Si Weijiang, a lawyer representing Qian's father, Qian Shunnan. "The trial was conducted in a hasty fashion and many doubts about the case remain," Si said. He declined to elaborate.
At least two witnesses initially said they saw four men beat the tall and sturdy 53-year-old Qian to the ground and hold him while the truck crushed him to death. Police said they later recanted their accounts of the death.
In a sign the government is trying to appear transparent in its handling of a case that has garnered widespread attention, authorities said the trial was open to the public and state television carried highlights of the proceedings on its national midday bulletin. Among them was the emergence of new evidence: video footage from a recording device on Qian's watch, which he was wearing when he died.
Family members reported that they continued to face pressure from the authorities not to speak publicly about Qian's death.
Qian Shuangping, the village leader's daughter-in-law, said most of the family did not attend the trial: "There's no use in going anyway. They are not interested in what we have to say." She declined to comment further, saying her phone line was tapped and she could not speak freely.
Qian's death is the latest violent incident to touch a nerve among the Chinese public, angry over official corruption and abuse of power, including unfair seizure of farmers' land for development.
Qian, a poorly educated but entrepreneurial farmer, became a hero to the villagers he served by lobbying the government for fair compensation after it seized village land six years ago to build the large power plant. He was arrested three times, his daughter-in-law said, and each time returned to the fray with popular support.
(AFP) Anger over 'accidental' death of Chinese activist February 1, 2011.
A Chinese court ruled Tuesday that the death of a village chief crushed by a truck in December was accidental, sparking outrage from those who insist he was murdered for his campaigning over land seizures.
The gruesome December 25 death of 53-year-old Qian Yunhui has rattled authorities at a time when the government is trying to damp down public anger over a range of hot-button issues including official abuses and rising prices.
Qian had demanded compensation for farmers whose land was seized to make way for a power station and his death stirred passions after doubt was cast on the official version of events.
Gruesome photos posted online appeared to show Qian, who had been leader of Zhaiqiao village in the eastern province of Zhejiang, crushed under the wheels of a truck.
A court sentenced the unlicenced driver, Fei Liangyu, to three-and-a-half years in prison on Tuesday for "accidentally" running over Qian, China Central Television (CCTV) said in an in-depth live report.
Police and the courts said it was a simple hit-and-run, basing their conclusions in part on video footage supposedly recorded by Qian's wristwatch during the accident -- images dismissed by some as a total fabrication.
"Looking at this videotape, I think you must say that it is not a traffic accident -- this is murder," said one chatroom posting on the popular web portal Netease.com. "Why is he the only one to wear a wristwatch video camera -- why does he need to videotape? Do judges wear wristwatch video cameras?"
CCTV on Tuesday repeatedly broadcast the shaky footage -- shot by a figure walking down a road and which ends with the image being severely jarred and, finally, a shot of a truck's wheel.
The reports appeared aimed at underlining the official version it was a simple traffic accident.
Another comment posted under the name cdch1983 said, "We've seen these inferior (government) tactics before and it is unclear whether they think the people are dumb, easily fooled or downright stupid. This is a tragedy, an out-and-out naked lie."
Chatrooms on the case on some other major Chinese portals were shut after the verdict, apparently to stifle anti-government comments.
Court officials refused comment when contacted by AFP.
Qian had been detained three times since 2005 for repeatedly demanding compensation for farmers after nearly 150 hectares (370 acres) of land was seized, earlier reports said.
Government-backed land requisitions, often in collusion with real estate developers, remain one of China's most controversial issues, with authorities routinely accused of enriching themselves through arbitrary land grabs.
The government has recently indicated mounting concern over that and other key controversial issues such as corruption that are blamed for thousands of frequent angry public protests.
Rights groups said the government last month ordered the media to restrict coverage of such controversial issues this year.
(WSJ China Real Time Report) Sentence In Villager’s Suspicious Death Doesn’t Satisfy Skeptics February 1, 2011.
Two days after a relatively light sentence handed down in the infamous “My Dad is Li Gang” case sparked outpourings of cynicism and anger online, China’s justice system has returned another decision in a separate, controversial case that is drawing fresh questions.
The case this time revolves around the death of Qian Yunhui, a rural activist in the Zhejiang province city of Yueqing who was crushed under the wheels of a truck last month. Police proclaimed the death an accident, but many of Qian’s supporters said they suspected murder, noting among other issues that he had died on the same road he and others had earlier blocked in protest of the building of a power plant. Fury over the incident spread across China’s Internet, fueled by horrifically gruesome photos and video of Mr. Qian’s corpse.
A court in Yueqing city on Tuesday sentenced the driver of the truck, Fei Yuliang, to three-and-a-half years in prison, according to a report in the state-run Xinhua news agency that was confirmed by Mr. Fei’s lawyer. The sentence is consistent with local authorities’ contention that Mr. Qian’s death was an accident, but it left many observers in China unconvinced.
Adding to the controversy is video footage—aired on state-run CCTV Tuesday—that is purported to have been recovered from a mini camera in Mr. Qian’s wristwatch, and that local police say proves the activist was not murdered.
It’s not exactly clear how Mr. Qian came to own a wristwatch that records video, nor why he would have set it to record what appears to be an otherwise unremarkable stroll. The point of the local officials in showing it is that it demonstrates that the incident was an accident, thus refuting accounts of Mr. Qian’s death that have circulated on the Internet in which he was purportedly held by a group of thugs as the truck ran him over.
But the footage doesn’t seem to be the end of the issue. For one thing, even if authentic, it doesn’t preclude the possibility that whoever struck Mr. Qian did so intentionally. And judging by the flurry of commentary that quickly appeared online after the footage was aired, at least some people don’t believe that the video is authentic. McClatchy’s Tom Lasseter summarized the reasons for some of that skepticism in a blog post:
The footage in question carried the correct time stamp, just before 9:50 on Christmas morning, and was obviously shot on the road where Qian died in the coastal province of Zhejiang. The video shows an accident–or the tumbling blur of what seems to be one–as the person walks in the middle of the road, and then after the wreck shows a truck sitting in front of the presumed body of Qian Yunhui.
However, Qian’s body was found under the front tire of a truck–not behind a truck that had run him over–that was sitting on the wrong side of the road.
It is possible, of course, that the truck that hit Qian dragged him across the road before stopping. And it’s also possible that one truck ran over him and his body came to rest under the front tire of a second truck that was close behind. As any highway patrol officer will tell you, anything can happen when it comes to the physics of car crashes. (Images of Qian’s body after the incident, though, suggest that he was crushed by just the one tire, and don’t show the sort of skid marks one would expect from a large truck slamming on its brakes and swerving violently across a road.)
Mr. Lasseter noted that much of the initial commentary on the Web questioning the video’s validity were soon deleted.
Asked about the skeptical reaction from some viewer’s of the video, Mr. Fei’s lawyer, Zhou Gang, told The Wall Street Journal: “There is nothing to doubt… We can’t suspect everything. These suspicions are not justified.”
Employees at the Yueqing court said no one was available to comment on the video. Multiple attempts to contact the Wenzhou police department by phone Tuesday were unsuccessful.
According to Chinese media reports, Mr. Qian’s family was paid more than a million yuan, or roughly $150,000, in compensation for his death.
–Josh Chin, with contributions from Kersten Zhang
(South China Morning Post) Doubts remain as driver who killed village chief jailed February 2, 2011.
The driver of a truck which killed a village chief in Zhejiang province who had led a fight for compensation for a government-backed land seizure was jailed yesterday for 3-1/2 years.
But questions remain about a video clip, purportedly of the victim's final moments and recorded on his wristwatch, and its use as evidence.
Although police have said repeatedly since a first press conference about the incident on December 27 that Qian Yunhui's 's was an accident and nothing more, many still believe he was murdered to stop his petitioning.
Fei Liangyu , the driver, was charged by Yueqing prosecutors with a traffic crime after he ran over Qian , 53, the chief of Zhaiqiao village, on Christmas Day. Qian had petitioned for the past six years over the land seizure - an issue which causes much conflict on the mainland.
The Yueqing People's Court convicted Fei, an unlicensed driver of a truck overloaded with stones allegedly on its way to a nearby industrial area.
Fei faced up to seven years' jail, but the sentence was reduced because he and related companies reached a compensation agreement with Qian's family.
Fei said in court he did not accept the verdict.
Si Weijiang , a lawyer from Shanghai DeBund Law Offices representing Qian's 81-year-old father, Qian Shunnan , said the trial and conviction were very hastily done. He had applied to have the trial postponed, but the court had refused.
The elder Qian said he still had grave doubts about the video presented as evidence in the trial.
"The road shown in the video doesn't have roadworks, which doesn't match the driver's testimony," said Si. "And the video should have been verified by an independent organisation as unedited."
The victim allegedly switched on the watch's recording function before he was crushed by the truck. The watch was in the possession of the family of Wang Liquan , Qian Yunhui's petitioning partner, when police seized it.
The video, lasting for more than two minutes, showed shaky footage shot by a walking person on the road outside Zhaiqiao village. It then stopped suddenly after two honks, and the next video is a still picture of a wheel, according to a report yesterday by China Central Television, which showed the clip. It is only part of 13 clips allegedly obtained from Qian's watch.
Speaking to the
on Saturday, Qian's son Qian Chengxu expressed doubts about the authenticity of the clip but confirmed his father had a watch with a recording function. South China Morning Post
Qian's family did not attend the four-hour trial. Phone calls to Qian Chengxu, and Qian's daughter-in-law, Qian Shuangping, yesterday went unanswered.
Gruesome photos were posted online of him crushed under the truck's wheels and suspicions about his death a growing lack of trust in the government. At least four groups of citizens, scholars and activists are independently probing the incident.
Two witnesses said they originally told police that four men held Qian while the truck was driven over him, but police said they had recanted that testimony during interrogation.
Si refused to comment on the sentence. He said he would continue to help Qian's father seek compensation and push the court to reveal to the public the full contents of the 13 video clips.
One of the four grass-roots investigations is led by Wu Gan , a well-known Fujian-based activist known by his internet name, Butcher. He said the authorities' selective responses to doubts and the fact only parts of the video were shown had stoked suspicions.
One internet user asked why the chief would switch on the watch if he didn't think he was in danger.
Another said the video showed Qian walking in the middle of the road, which didn't match Fei's testimony that Qian was crossing the road.
Other internet users pointed out that the video didn't include any cries from Qian when he was hit.
The Trial Of Fei Liangyu (2011/02/02) (China Youth Daily)
At 8:30 on February 1, 2011, the Yueqing People's Court heard the case of the death of the petitioning village mayor Qian Yunhui.
A couple of days ago, the Wenzhou police announced that they have obtained the multifunctional watch that Qian Yunhui was wearing at the time of this death. The critical video was presented in court today, including what happened around 9:40am, December 25, 2010. More than 60 persons including relatives, villagers and reporters were present.
The court found the truck driver Fei Liangyu guilty of causing a traffic incident. Fei was sentenced to a prison term of 42 months.
The court session began with the Yueqing prosecutor reading out the indictment. The prosecutor claimed that the evidence clearly pointed out that Fei Liangyu caused a traffic incident. "All other possibilities have been eliminated."
During the presentation of the evidence, the prosecutor introduced the key evidence -- the multifunctional watch that Qian Yunhui was wearing at the time of his death. The prosecutor showed a segment of the recorded video running from 9:45:46 to 9:49:23, December 25, 2010.
The video began with a close-up of Qian Yunhui's face. The video then switched to showing a road while the camera swayed slightly as Qian walked down the road. It was very peaceful with no pedestrians out there. After more then two minutes, the video turned fuzzy as there was some violent shaking. The video then rested in a fixed spot. Through the rain-soaked lens, it is possible to see grass blades and the back wheel of a truck. A fuzzy human figure clad in red walked over from the back of the truck.
The only witness who appeared in court today was Huang Biao, the driver who was in the passenger seat at the time. The villager Wang Liquan (who had custody of the watch) and his family and friends (who had also come across the watch) did not appear in court. However, the prosecutor read out their testimonies.
This watch drew the most attention in court today. According to the testimony of Wang Liquan's friend named Kong, "I bought this watch several months aqo in a Yueqing shop. 300 yuan."
According to the testimony of Wang Liquan, he purchased this watch from a friend on October 24, 2010. At just past 6am on the morning of December 25, Qian Yunhui came over to Wang's home to get the watch. Wang showed him how to operate the watch. "After testing it for a while, we went out on our own ways. He called me again at some after 8am to ask whether I had any petition materials. At some time after 10am, they said that Qian Yunhui died after being run over. I hurried over to the scene. I removed the watch from the body of Qian Yunhui which was still under the truck wheel. Nobody saw me take the watch. I and my son even used the camera to film the scene."
The Wenzhou police issued a report to the effect that they compared the DNA from the blood stain on the watch and found that it matched Qian Yunhui's.
According to the testimony of the son of Wang Liquan, his father brought the watch and mobile telephone of Qian Yunhui home. The family helped to transfer the videos in the watch to the computer of the elder son. "I was afraid that if I turned the videos over to the relevant government departments, the villagers will take revenge on us. After watching the videos, my dad told me not to talk to anyone about it."
Wang Liquan's testified: "I got my son to transfer the videos to a white USB storage device. When I saw arrested, the USB device was hidden in the back of the car seat." Among the list of items held by the police, there was a SONY brand USB storage device ...
"This video showed what the deceased was doing in detail. It showed that the accident occurred at around 9:48:20, December 25, 2010. This provided further direct proof that this was an ordinary traffic accident." The prosecutor said.
With respect to this piece of evidence, the lawyer Si Weijiang representing the father of Qian Yunhui offered "six curious observations."
Firstly, the video had not been inspected by any authoritative organization to ascertain that it had not bee edited/modified. "The watch stayed in Wang Liquan's home for a long period of time. The public security bureau also had a direct interest in the outcome because they had already drawn their conclusions. Thus, it cannot be excluded that the video was edited or modified. We are not experts. The key evidence needs to be verified by experts."
The prosecutor said that the source of the watch was unreliable. Various witnesses testified about how the watch went from Wang Liquan to the police. The video was created on December 25, 2010 and therefore it was authentic.
After a court recess, the chief judge responded to this question by stating that the evidence was obtained properly and is supported by the testimonies of Wang Liquan and others as well as physical evidence such as the umbrella shown in the video. As such, the lawyer was merely speculating without producing any evidence. Therefore the court ruled that no verification is necessary.
Secondly, there was a video dated December 23, 2010 in which the head of a person was shown. "Was this Qian Yunhui? If so, where did this video come from? Many witnesses say that Qian Yunhui got this watch only on December 25. So if his head was filmed earlier, it would conflict with the testimonies. Therefore, the court should let the family and acquaintances of Qian Yunhui see if they can identify the head." The prosecutor responded: "The prosecutor believes that the person in the video is not Qian Yunhui."
Thirdly, the testimonies of the witnesses all said that there were materials on the right side of the road and that the security guards wore helmets. But the video did not show any barriers on the right side of the road and there were no persons wearing helmets.
"Physical evidence overrides human testimony. If there is a conflict between the video and the witness Qian Chengyu, then the video ought to be believed." Fei Liangyu's defense lawyer said.
"The road barriers and the helmets are details provided by Qian Chengyu, Fei Liangyu, Huang Biao and the security guard captain. Could all these people be wrong about the same things?" Si Weijiang asked.
Fourthly, there was nothing unusual in the surroundings at the time. So why did Qian Yunwei turned to video recording function on? "Then he walked on until he was run down by a vehicle. It is almost as if he wanted to prove that he died in a traffic incident. So there are still many doubts about this very crucial video evidence. The court decision must be fair, both for Fei Liangyu and the family of the deceased."
But the defendant's lawyer did not find it curious. "Qian Liangyu is a special person. He was using the watch to record the petitioning information. The authenticity of the video is not in doubt."
Fifthly, why were the witnesses related to the watch not present in court? The prosecutor replied: "The law states that a witness can appear in court or only have his/her statement read out. Wang Liquan and others are involved in other criminal charges and therefore they are not appearing in court."
Sixthly, the police had obtained the evidence on January 14. So why did they wait until two days before the trial after the lawyers had see the video before announcing it? The prosecutor replied: "The public security bureau is not obliged to announce any evidence every time."
Si Weijiang also questioned how come the telephone call records of Fei Liangyu did not show that he called 110 at just past 9:40. This is in contradiction with various testimonies.
The chief judge answered this question: "The court has checked with the the Ministry of Telecommunications. When a call is made to 110 using an outside telephone, it is not shown." The prosecutor added: "Fei Liangyu's mobile phone was borrowed from someone in his hometown. According to the local telecommunications department, 110 calls are free. Therefore it is not shown on the telephone bill."
Si Weijiang also requested for an adjournment because he received 8 files and the video evidence only one day before the court. The court did not allow his request.
On January 28, the father of Qian Yunhui filed a criminal/civil case in court, adding the Puqi town government, the electricity power plant and the security guard company as defendants. The court refused to hear that case simultaneously.
The court gave the following reason: "The previous filings did not include the signature of the client. The proper documents were only received on January 30."
The chief judge Fang Kongqiang said that the case filed by the father of Qian Yunhui was accepted on January 31. "According to the law, the immediately family of a deceased person may also file a civil case. Although the defendant Fei Liangyu had reached a settlement with some of the family members of the deceased, the father of the victim may still file a civil suit ..."
Si Weijiang asked Fei Liangyu: "We understand that your family is poor. So where did you get 1.05 million yuan to pay the Qian family?" Fei Liangyu said: "I don't know that. You ask my lawyer."
The court recessed for 30 minutes. Then the court announced that Fei Liangyu has been found guilty of causing a traffic incident.
Fei Liangyu said in court that he disagreed with the decision. Si Weijiang said that the trial was too hasty.
In the press conference afterwards, the chief judge Fang Kongqiang explained the basis of the verdict.
"Certain people opine that this was a case of deliberate murder. The testimonies of the defendant and the witness Huang Biao, the report of the visual inspection of the body, the skid marks and impact marks, the watch worn by the victim, etc, corroborate each other and form a complete chain of evidence. This showed that the defendant Fei Liangyu was mainly negligent at the time of the incident."
Fang Kongqiang said that Fei Liangyu's behavior was inconsistent with someone actively seeking to endanger someone. "Just before the impact, Fei Liangyu sounded the klaxon after spotting the pedestrian. When the pedestrian continued to talk, he veered his vehicle and stepped on the brake. Subjectively, he did not want to run into the pedestrian and hurt him. If he wanted to kill or hit the pedestrian, he would not have taken the aforementioned evasive actions. After the impact, Fei Liangyu got out of the vehicle to see and he called the police. This showed that he did not try to cover up his act."
(Beijing News) February 2, 2011.
The chief judge Fang Kongqiang answered our reporter's questions by writing:
Q: Many people on the Internet think that Fei Liangyu intentionally committed murder. Why did the court ultimately rule that this was a traffic incident.
A: The procuratorate charged Fei Liangyu with involvement in a traffic incident. During the trial, the defendant and his lawyer did not dissent. But certain public opinions say that this was a case of deliberate murder.
Based upon the testimonies and cross-examinations of the defendant and the witness Huang Biao (who was sitting next to Fei at the time of the incident), the visual inspection of the body of the deceased, the skid marks on the road, the impact marks on the vehicle, the video in the watch of the deceased, etc, and these pieces of evidence support each other to form a complete chain of evidence, it can be shown that Fei Liangyu subjectively made a mistake.
The specific reasons are as follows: Firstly, when Fei Liangyu spotted the pedestrian crossing on the road, the objective fact was that he sounded the klaxon. This showed the Fei Liangyu was trying to alert the pedestrian to the oncoming vehicle and hence to take evasive action to avoid a traffic incident.
Secondly, when Fei Liangyu saw that the pedestrian continued to walk even after the klaxon was sounded, he immediately veered his steering wheel and stepped on the brakes. This showed that he was trying to avoid the pedestrian. So he did not subjectively want to hit the pedestrian with his vehicle.
Thirdly, Fei Liangyu got out of the vehicle immediately afterwards to check. After he saw what happened, he called the police and he preserved the integrity of the scene. This showed that Fei Liangyu did not try to cover up what happened.
The video inside the watch that Qian Liangyu was wearing (note: the watch had the capability of making video records) allowed us to reconstruct the incident. At around 9:45, Qian Yunhui was walking down the road with an umbrella in hand. At 9:48:20 or so, Qian Yunhui crossed from the right side of the road to the left. A klaxon and the sound of braking were heard. He was knocked down by a vehicle. Afterwards, someone got out of the vehicle to see what happened. This video truthfully recorded what happened before and after the collision. It is also consistent with the testimonies of Fei Liangyu and Huang Biao. This showed that the case was a traffic incident.
Therefore, the defendant Fei Liangyu was found to have violated traffic laws. Specifically he was an overloaded construction truck without a driver's license, and he caused the death of a pedestrian when he failed to take proper measures. As such, he bore principal responsibility in this incident.
Q: Fei Liangyu did not think that he left the scene afterwards. Why did the court ultimately decided that he fled from the scene?
A: Fleeing from the scene of a traffic incident refers to actions which attempt to evade legal accountability." "Fleeing" refers not just to the physical act of departure, but also to various means (not limited by time and space) to avoid legal accountability.
After the incident, Fei Liangyu asked Huang Biao to state that he was the driver. When the traffic police arrived, he told them that he was the truck owner but he did not say that he was driving at the time. He and others took Huang Biao down to the traffic police divisional quarters, and then he went home and changed his clothes. Later Huang Biao said that Fei Liangyu was the actual driver. At first, Fei Liangyu denied it. He confessed later. Therefore, even if the defendant did not physically "flee" from the scene, he was objectively trying to avoid legal accountability and conceal his true role in the incident. This fits the definition of "flight." As a result, we believed that Fei Liangyu's actions constituted flight after a traffic incident.
Q: Fei Liangyu was sentenced to three years and six months in jail. What is the basis for the length of the prison term?
A: According to Article 133 of the <Criminal Law Code> and items 1 and 3 of clause 1, article 2 of <Supreme People's Court's explanation of certain problems related to the laws that apply to traffic violations>, the sentence for fleeing the scene of a traffic incident is 3 to 7 years of time. The defendant Fei Liangyu violated the traffic law by driving an overloaded vehicle without a driver's license and caused the death of a person. He also fled the scene afterwards. His actions therefore meet the aforementioned conditions. Thus, he should be getting three to seven years in prison.
By driving an overloaded vehicle without a driver's license, Fei Liangyu should be getting closer to seven years. But he did not mess with the crime scene, he called the police immediately, he pled guilty in court and acted contrite, and the family of the victim was compensated for 1.05 million yuan. So those conditions work in favor of a lighter sentence.
The above video was taken between 9:53 and 10:01. It showed the truck and the deceased (note especially the hand). It can be seen that someone had already set up barricades on the road to stop traffic.
经审理查明，2010年12月 25日上午9时30分许，被告人费良玉在未取得机动车驾驶资格的情况下，驾驶装载石料的皖K5B323解放牌重型自卸货车（核载12405KG，超载 35020KG，超载率282%）从乐清市虹桥镇湾底村开往乐清市临港开发区围垦工地。当日9时45分许，车辆途经虹南大道蒲岐镇寨桥村路段时，遇行人钱云会在车前方突然从道路右侧向左横穿，被告人费良玉鸣喇叭，向左打方向并紧急刹车，但仍避让不及，车头左侧将钱云会碰倒，左前轮碾压其胸颈部，致钱云会当场死亡。肇事后，被告人费良玉指使他人顶替，企图逃避法律追究。经温州市公安局交警支队认定，该交通事故中，被告人费良玉负主要责任；经法医鉴定，被害人钱云会符合遭机动车辆碰撞、碾压致颈部、胸部重度毁损伤而死亡。 另查明，案发后被告人费良玉的委托代理人与被害人亲属就民事赔偿部分达成调解协议，被害人亲属获赔105万元，并已履行。
3、 证人高广跃的证言，证实 2010年12月25日9时40分许，费良玉打电话给自己，说他的车子把人压坏了叫自己快点到事故现场，自己就驾驶面包车到现场。在现场已经围着很多老百姓，自己跑到费良玉的车子前面发现车子左前轮压着个人，后来自己开车回转盘路上碰到黄标，就带上黄标去工地，在工地大转盘处，费良玉从交警的车上下来后也上了自己的车，自己就开车送费良玉和黄标去警队。同时证实费良玉是经自己介绍于2010年9月份到乐清从事运输行业。车子是费良玉自己的。工地总共有12 辆车在运输，自己是车队临时负责人，从石料场运到工地约有6.8公里，拉石料大车（如费良玉这种车辆）按规定装石料要求在汽车隔板20公分以下，费良玉事发当天装得多了点，大概在隔板10公分以下，从采石厂到事故地点大概4公里不到，平时车辆装了石料跑不快，车速40码不到。另外费良玉和他老婆一起在乐清，在乐清除了自己就没有熟人了，近段时间费良玉的老婆因为怀孕住在虹桥医院。黄标在乐清也没有社会关系，是费良玉原先的司机走了后才雇用黄标。
4、 证人郝长吾的证言，证实 2010年12月25日，自己的车辆跟在皖K5B323车后面一公里远，当天9时50分左右，自己驾车到寨桥村路段时看到皖K5B323车出事故，停在道路左侧，左前轮下压着一个人，当时有一个50来岁的男子往自己车扔石头，自己就在离皖K5B323车20多米距离时停车并开始倒车，在一百米左右的叉路口掉头往工地开，在下一个叉路口被黄标拦下，自己就把黄标带回工地。倒车前没有看到保安，在倒车的过程中看到车上的保安下来，当时保安坐的中巴车离事故现场 40到50米左右，自己只看到一辆，也没看到保安跑向事故车附近。自己一般往返两个工地在25分钟左右，同时右侧道路封道大约3—4天了。
5、 证人程龙洋的证言，证实 2010年12月25日，自己和费良玉通了二个电话。第一个电话是8点40分左右，费良玉问自己拉了几趟。第二个是10点左右，在寨桥村路段车子开不过去了，工地的好几辆空车都停在路边，听路人说前面出交通事故就打电话问费良玉，费良玉称其在警车上就挂了电话。
8、 证人黄军的证言，证实 2010年12月25日上午，黄标打电话给自己，说费良玉开车压了人，因费良玉没有驾驶证，要他替费良玉顶罪，自己告诉黄标绝对不能顶。黄标使用 15825696837打给自己的电话13717487290。自己怕黄标不听劝阻，所以又马上打电话给黄标的老婆，让黄标老婆也劝黄标千万不能帮别人顶罪。
16、证人王旭乐的证言，证实 2010年12月25日下午，父亲王立权给一只手表、一条数据连接线及一只U盘，说手表是从钱云会的手上偷偷摘下来的，这只手表有摄影、录像的功能，让自己把手表内文件拷出放到U盘里，后自己用数据线把手表连到电脑上，点击进入手表内的存储盘，发现有多个视频文件，但自己的电脑里没有播放软件，无法打开观看，哥哥（王旭旭）的电脑里装有“快播”播放软件，后在王旭旭电脑上进行操作，把手表存储盘里的资料复制到电脑桌面，复制完成后将手表已经数据线还给父亲王立权。后父亲王立权称袁迪贵让他再拍些现场的资料，就带着手表出去了，期间，王旭旭也跟了出去，后王旭旭带着相机先回来，再次将手表和数据线给自己，并让自己将新拍的故事现场的视频也复制到电脑里。 17、证人孔献良的证言，证实2010年12月23日左右的一天中午，林金儿和王立权一起向自己借表，王立权称因村里选举要用，向自己借了一只有摄像拍照功能，全钢制、银白色并配有专门数据线的手表。
21、证人施永钢的证言，证实 2010年3月24日，乐清市供电局与乐清市清湾港区投资发展有限公司签订一份电力电网线路施工协议书，工期原定为2010年4月1日至2010年6月 10日，原来设计为架空线路设置的，后因政策问题，从港区开始架空施工至寨桥村虹南大道路口的工程被暂停。2010年12月20日，自己公司（乐清市电力实业有限公司）与乐清市供电局订立施工合同，施工段从虹南大道寨桥村路口沿虹南大道共1.6公里的电力管道埋设。12月21日自己单位进场施工，12月 25日上午，虹南大道寨桥村段发生交通事故到现在都没有施工。因为施工有一些材料及机器摆放在路面上，占用约1/4的路面，有放机器的地方可能会多一些，也不会超过路面1/2，施工长度即占用路面长1.6公里。对占用路面堆放物外侧都放置红色反光锥，路面的机器及堆放的材料边缘还挂警示彩带，堆放的泥土都放在田里，现场保安人员说蒲岐镇政府与乐清市清湾港区投资发展有限公司请来保护施工，防止村民阻挠施工，保安人员的工资也不是跟自己单位结算的。12月 25日上午下雨，天气冷，自己公司没有施工。从12月21日施工到24日，从寨桥村路口（通往港区的路口）开始施工往西已完成900多米施工任务，这 900多米占用道路已经很少了，反光锥也基本上撤掉了，只有十几台机器还在路上，机器边缘上都放了反光锥。事故地点约在已完成施工路段中间位置即寨桥村路口（通往港区的路口）往西约450米处。
33、手机通话详细清单，证实费良玉所使用手机18655852668在发生事故后与黄标所使用手机15825696837于2010年12月25日9:46:27至10:17:31 有多次通话记录。黄标所使用手机15825696837于2010年12月25日在发生事故后与黄军所使用手机13717487290有通话记录，之后，黄军又有打电话给黄标，以及黄标老婆兰明利所使用手机13168570255多次给黄标手机联系的记录。2010年12月25日12:59开始至 14:01:11民警余兵新、赵顺余用黄标所使用手机15825696837与费良玉持用手机5次通话，要求（督促）费良玉到交警队接受调查及核实相关情况。
36、温州市公安局物证鉴定所温公（物）鉴（电）字3号电子物证检验报告（光盘2张），证实采用只读检验设备提取手表摄像机、SONY U 盘中的视频数据并检出手表型摄像机中视频文件13个，SONY U 盘中视频文件13个，并刻录成光盘。
41、道路交通事故现场勘查笔录，证实事故地点乐清市红南大道蒲岐镇寨桥村地段，天气雨，勘察时间2010年12月25日10时10分至12月25日10时50分，现场勘察道路走向东西，道路行政等级县道（二级），道路南侧有建筑施工堆积物，道路交通标志有标志、标线，限速60公里/小时，道路隔离设施有中心黄色单虚线，道路东通乐清市南岳镇方向，西通虹桥镇方向，北侧为蒲岐镇寨桥村民房，南为农田，双向行车路宽为16.0米，道路南侧有建筑堆积物，距道路南侧为5.6米，长度为 34.0米。现场找到证人钱成宇，居民身份证号330382196503064714，联系电话15314801967；现场提取尸体旁雨伞一把，皖 K5B323号重型自卸货车正前有碰撞痕迹，距地高0.68至0.76米，距车左前角0.52至0.60米，此痕迹在保险杠上。正前车底散热器铁架上有碰撞痕迹，距地高0.54至0.57米，距车左前角为0.98至1.10米，正前左角灯整体向后旋转，角灯防护罩铁丝上有碰撞痕迹，距地高0.58至 0.62米，距左前角为0.45至0.50米，都是擦印。皖K5B323号重型自卸货车头东尾西停在道路北侧的道路上，左前轮在道路北外侧1.30米，距寨桥村村牌26.0米（右前轮），左前轮在道路外侧泥土地上留下（与死体一起）5.5米长拖印，始点距道路北内侧0.3米，终点在左前轮下，左后前轮在道路上，距道路北内侧为0.2米，在道路上留下4.7米长压印，终点在轮下，始点距道路北内侧为0.8米，左后后轮距道路北内侧为0.4米，尸体头北脚南俯在道路上，头在左前轮前0.5米，双脚分开，半跪在道路上，脚距道路北内侧0.2米。
47、皖K5B323车行驶证和皖K5B323称重单及保险单，证实皖K5B323车所有人颍上县长春汽车运输有限公司，外廓尺寸8843×2500×3280mm，检验有效期至 2011年9月，强制报废期止2025年9月14日。2010年12月25日17时17分26秒，皖K5B323车总质量为25000KG，核定载质量为 12405KG，皮重为600020kg，超载35020kg，超载率282%。保险期限自2010年9月14日零时起至2011年9月13日24时止。
48、费良玉、皖K5B323 车的交管信息系统查询情况，分别证实费良玉居民身份证号码342128197908294410，驾驶证核查结果为无，打印于全国交管信息系统；大型汽车皖K5B323车辆信息，皖K5B323车所有人为颍上县长春汽车运输有限公司，住址安徽省阜阳市颍上县慎城镇404线，检验有效期至2011年9月30 日。
本院认为，被告人费良玉违反交通运输管理法规，未取得驾驶资格驾驶机动车，严重超载驾驶，造成交通事故致一人死亡，肇事后逃逸，且负该事故的主要责任，其行为已构成交通肇事罪，公诉机关指控的罪名成立，适用法律正确。关于附带民事诉讼，由于需要追加相关当事人等原因，故依法不予合并审理，在刑事案件审判后，由同一审判组织继续审理附带民事诉讼。因此，诉讼代理人要求延期开庭合并审理的理由不足，不予采纳。此外，本案证据试听资料（视频光盘）调取程序合法、证实的内容客观，具有关联性，真实反映事故现场情况，与其他证据等能相互印证，应当予以认定，故诉讼代理人对该证据的质疑，不予支持。被告人及其辩护人辩称被告人费良玉没有逃离现场，不构成逃逸，要求对被告人及其辩护费良玉适用缓刑。经查，被告人费良玉在肇事后要求黄标顶替，并在交警到达事故现场时自称系肇事车主，隐瞒自己为肇事者，并和他人将黄标送至虹桥交警中队，其本人则回家换了肇事时所穿的衣服。黄标归案后指认费良玉系真正肇事者，费良玉归案起初拒不承认，后才予以承认。被告人虽无“逃离现场”的行为，但其找人顶替，主观目的显然是为了逃避法律追究，客观方面表现为隐匿自己为肇事者，其行为符合逃逸的实质要件。由此可认定被告人费良玉的行为构成交通肇事后逃逸。因此，被告人及辩护人关于不构成逃逸的辩护意见，不予采纳。被告人的辩护人辩称被告人费良玉仅负交通事故的主要责任，归案后认罪态度较好，系初犯、偶犯，并且被告人委托代理人与被害人亲属达成赔偿协议，被害人亲属获取赔偿款人民币105万元，要求对被告人费良玉从轻处罚的辩护意见与查明的事实及相关法律相符，予以采纳。综合被告人犯罪事实、情节、危害后果及其认罪、悔罪表现，依照《中华人民共和国刑法》第一百三十三条、第六十一条，及《最高人民法院关于审理交通肇事刑事案件具体应用法律若干问题的解释》第三条之规定，判决如下： 被告人费良玉犯交通肇事罪，判处有期徒刑三年六个月。 （刑期从判决执行之日起计算，判决执行以前先行羁押的，羁押一日折抵刑期一日，即自2010年12月25日起至2014年6月24日止）。
审 判 长 方 孔 强 审 判 员 赵 少 华 人民陪审员 南 慧 蔚
书 记 员 高 文 丹 书 记 员 周 鹏 宇
第二个是证人薛品芬的证言。在卷宗第三卷的第73至74页。薛品芬就证实这一个内容，是陈赛英把手表交给了蒲岐边防派出所。其证实2011年1月14日早上，当时呢，陪这个陈赛英把东西交到蒲岐派出所民警，并且呢，经过了当场清点，其中是有一只手表，不锈钢表带，白色表盘，有英文字母，professional image, watch video record，还有8个光盘，还有一些上访材料。
接下来我讲，薛品芬的证据，也就是公诉人说陪着这个，陪着这个陈赛英上交。请法庭注意一下时间，其实王立权的老婆，我们先讲王立权的老婆，黄雪芬的这个证言，王立权的老婆是2011年，根据讯问笔录，1月14日凌晨5点，被叫到公安机关接受讯问，那么根据我国刑诉法，证人一般来说应该是到她家里去讯问，也可以，实在不行也可以叫，但应该是在合理情况下，你每天早上5点钟把人带走，而且带走的不是凌晨5点，据我了解是凌晨1点，凌晨5点去问一个证人，她不是犯罪嫌疑人啊，犯罪嫌疑人你要抓，是证人啊，我们每个人都会变成证人，凌晨1点把你门撬开，抓走证人，这就是做笔录的证人，所以这段证言，她做的笔录是凌晨5点30分到凌晨7点多，这是王立权老婆做的证。王立权老婆也没有看到被撞的证据，她只说录像里我只看到钱云会躺在车轮下面，已经死了，有些人围着，没有这个录像。不信公诉人可以出示一下，有没有这段录像。王立权老婆的证言。然后王立权老婆在14号早上已经被问话之后，所谓陈赛英主动上交，才出现陈赛英。但是我们在“陪同陈赛英上交”的笔录当中，薛品芬的笔录当中，请法庭注意到2011年1月14日11点20时，能明显地在笔录当中，我感觉是不可能是她自己说的。说手表是什么样子的，答：是不锈钢的表带，白色表盘，表面上有“professional image, watch video record，2010……”一个妇女主任，能记下这么多东西吗……里面有一段英文，手表里面英文是什么样……所以这种讯问笔录，明显就是不是自己说的。
中国经济时报记者 刘建锋 欧阳艳琴