An American businessman stood trial in China on Monday for allegedly heading a violent mob that kidnapped rivals and operated illegal casinos, charges he's said he was tortured into confessing.
Authorities in southern China have accused Vincent Wu of gang crimes but Wu's family and lawyers say he's a law-abiding businessman whose rivals have framed him to seize his assets.
"We are still very confident because our lawyers have all the evidence to prove that he is innocent," said Wu's daughter, Anna Wu, by phone from Guangzhou. "We believe we still have a chance and so we'll hope for the best."
Wu's lawyers urged a court in the southern city of Guangzhou to recognize the defendant's American citizenship as he and more than two dozen associates stood trial.
Wu has been denied U.S. consular access since his detention in June 2012 despite being a U.S. passport holder who shuttles between his family in Los Angeles and his business in China.
China refuses to acknowledge Wu's American citizenship because his last entry into mainland China was made on his Hong Kong residence pass.