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Beijing airport bomber expresses regret, claims explosion was ‘accident’

The petitioner who set off a homemade explosive device at Beijing Capital International Airport some 10 days ago claimed that he did not intend to hurt others and asked for forgiveness from the public.

Ji Zhongxing, 33, is being held in the detention center of Chaoyang district after being arrested for detonating the explosive device at the airport on July 21, Liu Xiaoyuan, Ji's defense lawyer, told the Global Times. Thursday was the first time that Liu met his client. 

The device was made of explosive powders from firecrackers. Ji feels guilty about his actions, claiming that he set off the bomb by accident, and would like to apologize for causing public panic and hurting a police officer, said Liu.

Ji recalled that he passed the device from his right hand to his left before accidentally detonating it, said Liu, adding that Ji also warned people at the scene before the explosion and that the incident caused no serious injuries.

Ji's left hand was amputated and he also suffered a perforated ear drum. 

Ji came to Beijing from his hometown in Shandong Province and 

distributed flyers at the airport from his wheelchair, trying to bring public attention to his cause. He suffered lower limb paralysis in 2005, allegedly the result of a beating from several security officers in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. He has petitioned since then.

His civil action for compensation was rejected by a local court in 2007 due to insufficient evidence. 

The Dongguan government launched an investigation to re-examine Ji's claims after the airport explosion but they have not yet published any information. 

Liu said he sent letters on Thursday to the Department of Public Security of Guangdong Province, the Dongguan government and local public security bureau requesting  the investigation's result.

Xu Xin, a professor with the Beijing Institute of Technology, was quoted by the Legal Daily as saying that Ji might receive lighter punishment in consideration of his warning beforehand, his unintentional motive, and small actual damage.

Ji faces up to 10 years in jail for the crime of causing an explosion.

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