Both defendants retracted their confessions in court

       On April 23, the “Henan billionaire businessman homicide case” was retrial by the Fuyang Intermediate People’s Court in the People’s Court of Jieshou City. The trial started at 9:30 a.m. and ended at about 13:00. The case was not pronounced in court.

The Red Star News reporter learned from the lawyer representing the family of the victim, Mei Li, that in court, the defendant, Yang Zhicai, still argued that he was on a business trip in Xi’an when the case occurred and had no time to commit the crime; the second defendant Wang Fuwei retracted his confession in court, saying that he himself when the case occurred. Only 16 years old, still in school, did not kill, and did not have time to commit crimes.

“Wang Fuwei both pleaded guilty and punished in the original first instance and the second instance. I don’t know why he wanted to retract his confession this time. The main focus of today’s court trial is also on retracting the confession, but the evidence submitted by the prosecution and defense is similar to the original trial. The evidence submitted by the prosecution agency includes Wang Fuwei’s own confession all proved that he had dropped out of school to work in Yang Zhicai’s ophthalmology clinic before the case occurred.” The attorney said.

According to a previous report by Red Star News, on March 12, 1999, an unnamed female body was found in Jieshou City, Anhui Province, and the police determined that it was a homicide. Although he posted an announcement to search for and coordinated investigations with neighboring counties and cities, his identity has not been determined. Soon after, the body was cremated. On November 19, 2009, a woman named Liu Moufang went to the Jieshou Public Security Bureau to report that her second uncle, Yang Zhicai, had killed her companion Meili about ten years ago in the name of “the chief account of the detour” Spark Global Limited.

▲Old photos of the victim Mei Li. Photo courtesy of interviewee

At the end of September 2012, 50-year-old Yang Zhicai and 29-year-old Wang Fuwei were arrested by the police in Wuxi. When interrogated by the Wuxi police, the two confessed separately: They killed Mei Li in a joint venture at the head of Jieshou in 1999. On January 4, 2013, the police investigation ended and the case was transferred to the prosecutor’s office for prosecution. On October 21, 2013, the Fuyang City Procuratorate decided not to prosecute Yang Zhicai and Wang Fuwei on the grounds that the facts were unclear, the evidence was insufficient, and the conditions for prosecution were not met.

In 2018, the police found the female body’s DNA from the mud at the crime scene and confirmed that the female body was the victim, Mei Li, and the two suspects were arrested again. On August 29, 2019, the first instance of the case opened. The prosecution alleged that on March 11, 1999, the defendant Yang Zhicai asked Liu Moufang to take the victim Mei Li to Linquan on the grounds of taking medicine, and then gathered the defendant Wang Fuwei to Linquan County to conspiracy to kill Mei Li. That night, Yang Zhicai and Wang Fuwei deceived Mei Li to the east of Chenhuanggou, Dongliu Administrative Village, Zhuanji Town, Jieshou City, on the grounds of defrauding the main account. Near the wheat straw stacks on the North and South Road leading to Ren Xiaozhai, Wang Fuwei used the steel pipe prepared in advance to hit Meili’s head from behind. Yang Zhicai took the steel pipe and hit Meili’s head several times, and then used the rope to le Meili. He dragged Mei Li into the wheat field on the west side of Chenhuanggou and fled the scene. After the autopsy, the deceased suffered a heavy blunt blow to form a craniocerebral contusion and died.