Death penalty for China’s gold rush killers

Beijing, Dec 30 (IANS) Three people were sentenced to death and three others to death with two-year reprieves over a brawl that left 19 people dead and 15 missing two decades ago.

The Guangyuan Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan province issued verdicts about 41 people charged with intentional homicide and affray, Xinhua reported. Four were sentenced to life in prison and others got prison terms ranging from three to 15 years.
In a case that shocked the nation in 1994, two groups of gold diggers led by Li Hong and Li Daiming, numbering over 180 people, fought with guns, knives and explosives along the Bailongjiang river in Guangyuan, where a gold rush was taking place.
Two people, including Li Hong, were killed, while 17 others were known to have drowned; 15 more bodies were never recovered.
Li Daiming and the other suspects went into hiding after the fight. Li surrendered to police in 2012 and was among the three given death penalty.