Nats donor could avoid conviction

By Jimmy Ellingham, Jared Savage

Photo / Richard Robinson
Photo / Richard Robinson

The wealthy Chinese businessman whose links to the National Party led to Maurice Williamson's resignation as a minister has a good chance of avoiding a conviction on domestic violence charges.

In April, Donghua Liu admitted charges of assaulting a woman and assault with intent to injure after an incident at the Boulevard Hotel in Newmarket, Auckland, in December.

The hotel is the first stage of a proposed $70 million property development by one of his companies.

Liu's de facto wife Juan Zhang was the victim of the more serious charge, assault with intent to injure, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail.

Her mother, Lunju Wang, was the victim of the male assaults female charge.

Liu, 53, appeared in the Auckland District Court today in a specialised family violence list for a progress report.

His lawyer Todd Simmonds confirmed he would seek a discharge without conviction when Liu is sentenced in August, and said the prosecution was not opposed to that.

The court heard Liu was making good progress with his counselling, and he was bailed until his next appearance.

Mr Williamson lobbied for Liu to gain citizenship, and citizenship was granted against official advice in 2010.

The National Party MP stepped down as a minister after it was revealed he contacted police about Liu's domestic violence charges in January.

- NZ Herald

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