A man who killed a Chinese millionaire and chopped up his body has been sentenced to jail in Canada, in a case that has gripped China.
Li Zhao had been found guilty of manslaughter after he shot dead his relative Gang Yuan in 2015 during a violent quarrel between the two men.
On Monday a court sentenced Zhao to 10 years and 6 months in jail.
The case has received widespread attention from both Canadian and Chinese news outlets.
On Monday, Justice Terence Shultes of British Columbia Supreme Court described the killing as out of character for Zhao, who showed “apparently genuine remorse” for his actions.
“To those that provided character references for Zhao, his behaviour that day was at odds with the ‘warm, kind, non-violent and generous person they need come to know’,” said the judge.
‘My mind started going blank’
Yuan was the cousin of Zhao’s wife. the 2 men and Zhao’s family lived together during a mansion owned by Yuan in West Vancouver.
Yuan was known for his colourful past. the rich 42-year-old, who claimed to possess made his millions from the petroleum and coal industries, had been married multiple times.
On 2 May 2015, Yuan made a business proposition to Zhao that included marrying Zhao’s only child, his daughter and reality show star Florence Zhao.
Enraged at the suggestion, Zhao told Yuan that it “was incest” and called him a “beast”, consistent with a court document from earlier this year.
The two men started fighting and Zhao eventually shot Yuan.
“At now my mind started going blank,” Zhao said during his trial. “I was muddled, really muddled.”
Zhao, a fanatical recreational hunter, tried to eliminate the body by chopping it up into 108 pieces and putting the body parts in plastic bags. His wife and his mother-in-law later discovered him and reported him to the police.
Earlier this year, he was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter, with the judge then concluding that Yuan’s “aggressive” actions during their fight caused Zhao “to react during a manner… [that] may are closer to instinctive reactivity driven by fear”.
Zhao has been held in pre-trial custody since 2015. Monday’s sentencing takes this under consideration , with every day in custody counting as 1.5 days towards his sentence, and intrinsically Zhao will only got to serve another two years and 4 months in jail, consistent with reports.
According to the South China Morning Post, Yuan’s estate is worth up to C$21m ($15.8m, £12.2m) and can be split among his five children.
Zhao too is understood to possess multiple assets, together with his daughter Florence previously flaunting her wealth on Ultra Rich Asian Girls, a reality web series that featured rich young Chinese immigrants in Vancouver.
Source: bbc news