Body in a suitcase murder Judge begins his summing up
Thursday 27th April 2017 @ 01:02 by Nigel P.
Gorton & Openshaw Longdendale News Tameside

Ming Jiang on trial for murder at Minshull Street Crown Court following the concluding speeches of both prosecution and defence counsels, Judge John Potter began his summing up

Minshull Street Crown Court heard two equally compelling concluding speeches from prosecution and defence counsel’s today in the trial of Ming Jiang accused of murdering his friend and countryman Yang Liu.

The Jury heard first from Mr Wright Q.C. who yesterday concluded his cross examination of Ming Jiang exposing yet another lie that Jiang had told in regard of blood splattered ladders with hairs of the victim also found on them.

Jiang had maintained the ladders had always been outside his flat, first in the communal corridor area and then after his car was seized he told the court he put them in the rubbish bin area.

Mr Wright asked Jiang to study a photograph he had taken of boxes of belongings about to be shipped to Shanghai in China. He asked Jiang to state what he saw in the background of the picture.

Jiang had to admit that the ladders he said were always outside were visible in the background of the picture. Asked to explain he paused for several seconds and then said he must be mistaken.

This morning he told judge John Potter he had lied and then asked if his counsel could ask him again about the ladders.

The Judge told him that would be a matter for his counsel and before Mr Wright started his speech defence counsel, Mr Gaias Gozem Q.C. did ask him to clarify a few points before the court proceeded.

Jiang admitted he lied about the ladders. Asked why did he lie by Mr Gozem, Jiang said: “I am sorry. I just did not want to explain I bought the ladders and I am afraid this is misunderstood in this murder. I have no explanation as to why there is his hair and blood there.”

Then Mr Wright Q.C. addressing the jury said: “It’s been a short trial in terms of time but very lengthy in terms of the condensed amount of evidence. Make allowances for the fact that English is not the defendant’s first language.

“But I say in making all these allowances, take into account the inexorable fact that leads to the sad conclusion that the defendant murdered Yang Liu, dismembered his body, sought to drain his accounts, sell his property, sell his personal belongings, to give the clearest impression Yang had simply disappeared from Manchester.

“This man is willing ready and capable of doing this and practising deceit.

“The truth is an elusive concept to him, his default position is to lie, not once, but again and again.

“What is it that caused this man to give so many accounts? Fear of John Wong or fear of the truth.

“The unfurnished facts point not to a shadowy figure, but to a cold calculated murder by him of Yang Liu, a man of means who he befriended, lured to his flat, before brutally killing him.

Ming Jiang’s Beswick flat where he is said to have lured his victim Yang Liu to his death

“Dismembering his body and subsequently disposing of it, that speaks volumes of the perpetrator.

“If John Wong and his anonymous accomplice were ruthless assassins, why bother with a clean up? Why dispose of the body? Why give the impression he was still alive?

“How could they take their time over a four day period disposing of Yang Liu, if at any the time, an unsuspecting Ming Jiang might return from the casino.

“We say it is utterly implausible that would occur, why enter into the charade?”

“And why would this pair of ruthless killers leave behind a man to blab about it?

“If they were recovering a debt why kill the man who was able to make the payment? Why have the debt factored? Why leave him to his own devices to squirrel the money away, spend it on fripperies because he was low?

“Why leave the debt outstanding and uncollected? Why leave Ming Jiang at liberty to spend it? Why leave him to sell the flat? Why leave him to send £40,000 to his father’s account in Shanghai, China?

“Because the story is convenient fiction by Ming Jiang to cover murder.

“There were ladders covered in impact blood, Jeans covered in blood. A finger print adorning a wet blood stain, a sandal footprint at the base of the sofa.

“Within minutes of the last sighting of Yang Liu, there is evidence of the defendant looking up how to bypass access codes for computers and phones and swapping sim cards to gain access to online accounts.

“He was already assuming the ID of Yang Liu. He is a fraudster for whom deceit is second nature.

“Then we come to the evidence of the Mercedes. If Wong was such a fierce and forbidding threat, putting him in mortal danger, why mention him using his Mercedes car at all? Why mention him at all? Because this man had an ulterior motive at the time.

“Because this man recognised the significance of the Mercedes in the disappearance of Yang Liu. He thought he could put police off the scent by using his alter ego, using his fraudster’s dirty phone.

“Why else would he be modifying the details of his fraudster’s dirty phone just two hours after his predicament if he was so fearful of John Wong?

“Why not try to contact him on the 9416 number to say police are interested in the Mercedes ?

“Wong is a figment of this man’s imagination.

“Modification of the phone is him trying to cover his tracks and divert attention away from his 9416 number, do not be misled by it.

“What he does, is seek to embroider the lies with half truths and minor details of fact to give them a greater plausibility, like the engine management light coming on and off and stopping to relieve himself.

“When it became established he had been to the lay-by, he went silent saying no comment then he came up with John Wong.

‘The truth with him is a moveable feast, one he selects.

“Yang Liu’s death was planned. He lied from the outset- when it became obvious that police knew more, he became silent then came the John Wong version after he had been charged.

“If he is so fearful of John Wong he would be scared to name him. Why does he go on to name him? We see the truth is changing in character if the truth is inconvenient then just shape it to fit circumstances.

“Manipulate and Massage the facts.

“A craven desire for money by whatever means he had to get it.

Following some legal argument in which the jury was sent out, Mr Gaias Gozem addressed the jury in his speech for the defence.

He described the clean up operation as an absolute shambles. The prosecution would seek to characterise Ming Jiang as cold calculating and ruthless but if he was those things, he was also daft enough not to wipe the blood off the walls or wash his own jeans.

Somebody who allegedly committed murder spent from the 5th of October until the 20th – 11 days in that flat without cleaning it up appropriately, so experts found no evidence to support the presence of other’s unidentified finger prints in the flat and in some cases in blood stains, all unidentifiable.

On the 19th of October Jiang gives Detective Constable Hall, the entry in his phone of John Wong.

Mr Gozem said: “I would ask you to think if the defendant was concerned about why his flat had not been cleaned up or more importantly why he did not disappear?

“It doesn’t matter where you are, if you have access you can shift money, why not go? “

“Due to the defendant’s immigration status he would be out of the country by the end of the year anyway.

“Was he really cool enough to go back to the 235 casino without a care in the world, totally not bothered.

“I want you to think about circumstantial evidence, it can be useful but also it depends from which perspective you are looking as to how you view it.

“The other important evidence about this case is – is  it consistent?

“Consistent with someone like John Wong putting Ming Jiang left in a flat screaming I am guilty.

“Why? Problem is people do not turn from ice cold killers to shambolic cleaners who can’t be bothered to put their jeans in the wash.”

Mr Gozem went on to speak about details of Ming Jiang’s finances, reminding the jury that despite the picture of a man pursued by debt collectors given by the prosecution, a study of  Ming Jiang’s bank accounts reveal that he had received substantial sums over the past few years.

There was one payment of £50,000 from a firm of solicitors and another for £40,000 from Jiang’s former partner in Hong Kong.

“We heard so much about his debts, but please do not think of him as always penniless,” said Mr Gozem.

Returning to Jiang’s relationship with Yang Liu, Mr Gozem said: “Liu was also a keen gambler” and reminded the jury of a text sent by Yang to Jiang given in evidence early in the proceedings, stating he was “exhausted after 6 hours sleep after playing at the casino.”

“Two gay men keen and regular gamblers.”

Mr Gozem then referred to another of Yang’s friends who supplied evidence saying he had last seen him on 25/9/16 not long before he disappeared.

The friend said they went for a drink in a pub in Salford Quays. Everything was fine and nothing was untoward.

However, in conversation Yang said that “he made friends with some dangerous people and started going around with them.”

Yang according to the witness had said: “They are the kind of people who will kill people like cats and dogs.”

Mr Gozem said: “Well if you are sitting in a pub with someone, even in Salford Quays and they tell you something like that, it is pretty odd.”

Yang also spoke of meeting a Chinese guy who worked for Lufthansa, spoke German and liked him. (Ming Jiang)

Mr Gozem continued: “He (Jiang) does not cover himself in glory in interview or indeed in this court. He has lied and admitted it.

“His honour has given direction that is not a shortcut to his guilt, people lie not always because they are guilty, people lie because they do not feel their defence is strong enough, bear that in mind in this direction.”

Turning to the expert evidence quoting one of the scientists Mr Gozem said: “Left wrist, right knee, all disarticulated, ‘muscle without any damage to the bone.’ All these joints are complex structures and whoever did this must have some knowledge of the human skeletal anatomy -there is no evidence that Jiang possess these skills.”

“So, where does that take him in terms of being able to murder and dismember ? It all points to somebody professional.”

“Now we turn to Tintwistle where the torso was found.

Burnt grass marks the spot where the charred and mutilated body of the murder victim Yang Liu was discovered near Tintwistle on October 10th, 2016.

“A farmer saw a fire at 10.45pm. He said he saw two figures, one around five ten the other about six foot in the car park. Another witness said she saw two figures, one a male around 30, the other younger male, late teens or early 20s both white.

“We do not know who these people are.

“We need to know the relationship between the people and the defendant.”

Mr Gozem accused the prosecution of “wanting to have its cake and eat it” he said.

“On the one hand it says the defendant has the mindset of a killer and the killing was planned months in advance and on the other, they highlight the blood splatter on the jeans that the defendant says must have happened when Yang was in the flat with John Wong.

“They use this as evidence of the defendant as a ruthless killer, but also point out that he forgot to wash his jeans, (with Yang’s blood on them). It makes no sense.

“If he was not present at the killing he would not know the blood was on them, because he was not there.

“The best explanation is that  it was not him, that equally explains why he is still hanging around and not in China. Instead of looking for another flat paying six months rent in advance for a flat in Gorton.

“How is this going to put police off the scent?”

(Proceeding)

By Nigel Pivaro