News / Asia

Man Who Set Off Bomb at Beijing Airport Goes on Trial

FILE - A policeman stands amid smoke at the arrival gate B after an explosion at Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, July 20, 2013.
FILE - A policeman stands amid smoke at the arrival gate B after an explosion at Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, July 20, 2013.
VOA News
A disabled Chinese man, who set off a homemade explosive at Beijing's airport to draw attention to his grievances against the government, has gone on trial in the Chinese capital.

In Tuesday's hearing, Ji Zhongxing told the court he "deeply regrets" triggering the device at the airport on July 20 - an action that injured only himself but filled the room with smoke.

Ji, who is in his 30s, is a former motorcycle taxi driver who says authorities beat him severely in the southern city of Dongguan in 2005, leaving him confined to a wheelchair.

Laying on a stretcher in the courtroom, Ji said he wanted police to arrest him at the Beijing airport so that he could raise his complaints about the alleged 2005 incident.

Prosecutors have charged him with endangering public safety at the airport. He asked the judge to give him "another chance."

Ji Zhongji, cries as he speaks to journalists about his brother, Ji Zhongxing, who is on trial for endangering public safety by setting off an explosion two months ago at Beijing's airport, outside a courthouse in Beijing, Sept. 17, 2013.Ji Zhongji, cries as he speaks to journalists about his brother, Ji Zhongxing, who is on trial for endangering public safety by setting off an explosion two months ago at Beijing's airport, outside a courthouse in Beijing, Sept. 17, 2013.
x
Ji Zhongji, cries as he speaks to journalists about his brother, Ji Zhongxing, who is on trial for endangering public safety by setting off an explosion two months ago at Beijing's airport, outside a courthouse in Beijing, Sept. 17, 2013.
Ji Zhongji, cries as he speaks to journalists about his brother, Ji Zhongxing, who is on trial for endangering public safety by setting off an explosion two months ago at Beijing's airport, outside a courthouse in Beijing, Sept. 17, 2013.
The defendant's brother, Ji Zhongji, attended the hearing and told VOA by phone that the blast was an accident.

"This is not his fault," he said. "The problem is, he was holding the explosive and touched it unintentionally when he moved it from one hand to the other. He immediately warned people around him to run away, saying 'my explosive will go off instantly.'"

The brother also echoed Ji Zhongxing's call for authorities to prosecute those responsible for the alleged 2005 assault.

"I hope those who beat my brother will be punished by law, so as to give him a satisfying answer. We just want them to give us justice," he said.

Ji's case has drawn sympathy from some Chinese Internet users who accuse the government of ignoring the former taxi driver's plight. About a dozen activists also gathered outside the court to show their support for him.

Yibing Feng of VOA's Mandarin Service contributed to this report.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid