18 Aug 2011

Family relieved at China jail term for taxi death

2:29 pm on 18 August 2011

The family of a murdered Auckland taxi driver is relieved his killer is behind bars.

Xiao Zhen stabbed Hiren Mohini, 39, to death in Mt Eden on 31 January last year. He then fled to China.

A panel of judges in Shanghai on Wednesday sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

Xiao, 24, earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of causing intentional injury. He told the court he stabbed Mr Mohini, 39, after a row.

Officials from New Zealand were in court to hear the verdict.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hywel Jones described the prosecution process as ''a testament to international co-operation''.

A spokesperson says the family in Auckland is satisfied with the sentence and it brings some relief.

But it won't change the fact the family has lost someone irreplaceable.

A guilty verdict for murder would normally lead to a death sentence in China, but the Chinese Government promised New Zealand that this penalty would not apply in this case.