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'Absolutely disgraceful': Vancouver MP reacts to killer’s claim his victim is still alive

Ten days after she was reported missing in October 2002, Amanda Zhao’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase near Mission. The 21-year-old Chinese student, who’d been living with her boyfriend Ang Li in an apartment in Burnaby, had been strangled.

Li returned to China shortly after the body was discovered. He was eventually convicted of killing Zhao and sentenced to seven years in prison by a Chinese court.

A New Zealand newspaper is reporting Li, now 38 years old with a wife and two kids, lives in Auckland under a new name, is professing his innocence, and claiming asylum there.

Li told the New Zealand Herald that the case against him was a set up by the Chinese Communist Party, and he believes Amanda is still alive and “walking around somewhere.”

Vancouver-East MP Jenny Kwan, who has helped Zhao’s parents navigate the Canadian legal system since their daughter was murdered more than two decades ago, says the couple is outraged at Li’s new claims.

“Amanda’s family came to Canada to identify the body. DNA testing was done to verify in fact that was Amanda Zhao. So to simply say somehow she is walking somewhere, alive somewhere, is absolutely disgraceful,” said Kwan, who added Zhao’s mother reached out to her after reading the news article and asked her to get involved.

“She wanted to send a clear message to the government of New Zealand, to the immigration department there, that Ang Li is a liar," said Kwan.

So the NDP member of Parliament has written to four Canadian ministers asking that the federal government share information with immigration officials in New Zealand. Li’s initial refugee claim has already been rejected, but he has launched an appeal.

“Criminality is a key piece in making a determination for anybody’s refugee status and immigration status, so Canada needs to make sure we share all the facts and information with them,” said Kwan.

Li told the New Zealand news reporter that he fears for his life if he is forced to return to China, but Zhao’s family doesn’t buy it, and say his claim that Amanda isn’t really dead is a new low.

“Clearly what’s happened is Ang Li is showing zero remorse even though he was convicted, and for him to utter the words, to say she is still alive is absolutely unbelievable and is just so disgusting to me,” said Kwan.

Li has also failed to pay $250,000 in court-ordered restitution to the Zhao family.

“Ang Li is now in New Zealand and according to the report he owns his own home there, he is a foreign student there, he has resources for himself,” said Kwan. “But he has no resources whatsoever for the family who suffered the devastating loss of the murder of their only daughter.”

Kwan says her heart goes out to Zhao's parents, who are being re-traumatized by Li’s outrageous claims.

”I just can’t believe it, 21 years later the convicted killer is claiming she is still alive,” said Kwan. “He is thumbing his nose at the family to say this, it makes a mockery of the justice the family has been trying to seek all these years.” Top Stories

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