JD.com ceo Richard Liu Qiandong is the subject of rape allegations in the US, but prosecutors are faced with conflicting accounts. However, his lawyer Jill Brisbois has attacked Reuters for ‘one-sided’ and ‘inaccurate’ reporting on the case.
In an e-mail statement to South China Morning Post, Ms Brisbois also arged that publishing witnesses names was a ‘reckless’ act, and stated that Reuters ‘jeopardises the integrity of the investigation and amounts to trying a case in the media before that investigation has concluded, and well before my client has even been charged with a crime.’ She added, ‘in so doing, Reuters continues to report a one-sided and inaccurate version of events.’ Ms Brisbois said that Liu will remain silent out of respect for the judicial process. In an e-mailed response, Reuters stated ‘we stand by our story, which is consistent with our commitment to accurate and independent journalism, under the Reuters Trust Principles.’
Mr Liu has been accused of raping a 21-year-old student at the University of Minnesota in her home, which he denies and as yet no charges have been filed. Reuters had reported the alleged rape happened in late August some hours after the student had been sitting next to Mr Liu at a dinner party he was hosting. Reuters reported the woman said she was drunk and needed help getting home. Me Liu and his assistant named as Alice Zhan took her home, and Mr Liu went with the woman to her room alone. The student said she resisted his advances but he then held her down and raped her, according to Reuters. Mr Liu was arrested the next day but released after 17 hours and returned to China on a private jet. The case has caused problems for JD.com, with the company’s shares falling by more than 44 per cent this year.