American in China gets lower sentence for role in death of neighbor

American in China gets lower sentence for role in death of neighbor

The Dutchman Harm Fitié (45) is in appeal sentenced to four years and six months in prison for his involvement in the death of his neighbor. That is a lot less than the twelve years which the court in Peking to him earlier condemned.

Fitié, who worked as a food technologist in Beijing, would be a neighbor of the roof have pushed. Fitié maintains that Lu Zhicheng was drunk, and cases. Witnesses were not there.

His lawyer calls the sentence “a just punishment”. That Fitié his neighbor intentionally injured would have, after all, is not proven. That was before the lower court ignored.

The higher court changes death by debt and now in death through negligence. That also means that Fitié, after his release on november 6, 2019, not deported. Fitié and his girlfriend Diane Vandesmet had previously know that they in spite of everything in China.

‘Mixed feelings’

After the judgment if his father Fitié briefly talk in a separate room. It was the first contact since Fitiés arrest, in may 2015. Vandesmet, which is not at the meeting should be, let me know “mixed feelings” about the punishment. Although Fitié is not released, she is happy that the punishment is lower. “I hope he’s good behaviour rather freely.”

The ministry of Foreign Affairs, the case is followed by a vertrouwensadvocaat. That only happens in exceptional cases, when the Dutch government has no confidence in a fair judicial process.


According to his lawyer Wang Fu, there was a lot wrong with the process. The Dutchman was after his arrest many times interrogated, without legal assistance. Also, there is no forensic investigation took place, changed Lu’s son, later his statement and had his lawyer not have access to the medical file. Wang Fu hopes that the Dutch government pressure continues to exert on China.

It is in China’s rare that a judgment in the appeal deviates from a previous statement. Possible the compensation of 68,000 euros, which the family of Fitié paid to the family of Lu Zhicheng anything to do with it.

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