August 13, 1985 |
An American businessman accused of causing a fire in a Harbin hotel that killed 10 people was found guilty of criminal negligence today and sentenced to 18 months in jail. The official New China News Agency said Richard S. Ondrik, 34, a native of Kokomo, Ind., employed by Energy Projects Southeast Asia Ltd. of Hong Kong, was also ordered to pay $51,724 in damages. He later told his Chinese attorney that he was shocked by the verdict and wants to appeal, his American lawyer said.
July 23, 1985 |
An American charged with criminal negligence in a fatal hotel fire argued his case for the first time today, and prosecutors accepted that hotel management was partly to blame and recommended leniency. Richard S. Ondrik, a 34-year-old oil industry expert, said in a 20-minute speech that he grieved for the 10 victims of the April 18 blaze at the Swan Hotel, especially his Chinese-American colleague Alan Eng.
July 24, 1985 |
Three months ago, five visiting North Koreans and four Chinese hotel workers leaped to their deaths and a Chinese-American businessman died of asphyxiation when a midnight fire swept through the 11th floor of the recently constructed Swan Hotel here. On Tuesday, Richard S.
July 28, 1985 |
Dressed in a gray uniform with the red seal of the People's Republic of China behind him, Chief Judge Pei Xing stared down at American businessman Richard S. Ondrik and delivered a chilling courtroom rebuke. "Don't try to conceal anything," he said, lecturing through an interpreter. "Everyone is equal before the law. You are an American, and you are now before a Chinese court in a fashion comparable to a Chinese citizen. So dispel your fears."