Policeman settles China hit-and-run case with cash

A Chinese police official whose name became national shorthand for anger over abuse of power after his son was accused in a deadly hit-and-run accident has paid more than $69,000 in compensation, the victim's father said Thursday.

Baoding city deputy police chief Li Gang became infamous in China when reports emerged that his son shouted "My father is Li Gang!" after the accident in an apparent attempt to shield himself from responsibility.

The son, Li Qiming, is accused of hitting and killing a young woman while driving drunk.

The victim's father, Chen Guangqian, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Li Gang gave him 460,000 yuan, or more than $69,250. A police spokesman for Li Gang refused to comment on the case.

The Oct. 16 death on a university campus focused popular outrage at China's elite and abuses of power, and Li Gang quickly appeared on national television, weeping, apologizing and bowing in front of the camera for half a minute.

Chen has said Li Gang's police colleagues had pressed him to accept the compensation and move on.

Such payments are often used in China as a way to avoid lawsuits or at least quiet the public airing of grievances.

Chen has since stopped working with his lawyer, the Beijing-based Zhang Kai, and gone home to his village in the central province of Hebei. He said he had taken the body of his daughter, 20-year-old Chen Xiaofeng, home and buried her.

Chen also said Li Gang's son is still in detention.

An official surnamed Liu with the Wangdu District Court in Hebei province said the court has the case, but he didn't know when it would go to trial.

"It will probably take a few more days," he said.

State media last month was ordered not to publish any more stories on the accident. The Hebei governor announced that the provincial Communist Party committee has formed a working group to look into the case, which he said made the province look bad.

China has been trying to crack down on drunken driving. A man was sentenced to death Thursday for a separate hit-and-run in which two people died and seven were injured in the eastern province of Anhui, state media said.

The official Xinhua News Agency said 33-year-old Dong Fei ran into 11 people before crashing into a truck.

Police said Dong had been drinking, according to Xinhua.