<HTML><HEAD> <META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML 8.00.6001.19019"></HEAD> <BODY> <H1 class="cN-headingPage articleHeading prepend-5 span-11 last">Chou a pawn in revenge plot, says her ex-lover </H1> <DIV class="push-0 span-11 last"><!-- cT-storyDetails --> <DIV class="cT-storyDetails cfix"> <H5>John Garnaut </H5><CITE>August 27, 2011</CITE> <!--<ul> --><!-- --></DIV> <DIV id=googleAds class="ad adSpot-textBox"></DIV><BOD> <DIV class=articleBody><!-- cT-imagePortrait --> <DIV class=cT-imagePortrait><IMG alt="Australian citizen Charlotte Chou with her son Lincoln when he was born." src="ctsart-353-pg9-charlotte-chou-200x0.jpg"> <P>Australian citizen Charlotte Chou with her son Lincoln when he was born. </P></DIV> <P>THE Australian businesswoman Charlotte Chou will face a Guangzhou criminal court next week because she is a pawn in a bigger game of greed, revenge and massive bribes paid to the city's top officials, says her fugitive former lover, Lin Yongping.</P> <P>Ms Chou's family in Sydney corroborated Mr Lin's story of how a former Taiwanese soldier paid Guangzhou's legal apparatus to put Ms Chou in jail and keep her there - while making off with the shares in the couple's private university.</P> <P>Even the former education minister for Guangdong province vouches for Ms Chou's character, saying she was caught in the crossfire of two men who were focused more on business.</P> <P>''Chou was capable, hard-working, a woman with ideas, and & she made a great contribution at the early stages of the school,'' Mr Xiuhong Li told the <EM>Herald</EM>. ''This is actually a battle between Lin and Zhu, and Chou was only helping Lin.''</P> <P>The man accused of being the invisible hand behind Ms Chou's three-year legal ordeal, Zhu Hanbang, denies paying any bribes but won't say a bad word about her.</P> <P>''Charlotte single-handedly made this university,'' said Mr Zhu. ''She's stuck in the middle & Charlotte is also a victim & I don't know how she fell into such a mess with a man from China.''</P> <P>Ms Chou was detained by Guangzhou police in June 2008 and has since been convicted, sentenced, briefly released, re-arrested and re-tried.</P> <P>On Tuesday she will be tried for a third time, on a fresh embezzlement charge, in the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court. The Australian government has raised concerns about Ms Chou's mysterious three-year ordeal but made no public mention of it until the case was revealed by the <EM>Herald</EM> earlier this week.</P> <P>Mr Lin, who was Ms Chou's key business partner and is the father of her four-year old child living with relatives in Sydney, fled China at the time of Ms Chou's arrest.</P> <P>He broke his three-year silence this week to speak with the <EM>Herald</EM> over an internet video link from an undisclosed location.</P> <P>He told how a representative of the Guangzhou court had invited him to outbid Mr Zhu by paying 12 million yuan ($1.8 million) for a favourable verdict, in parallel commercial proceedings about ownership of the university.</P> <P>''I was invited to pay 12 million yuan to win the case even when I had strong evidence,'' Mr Lin said. ''So you can imagine how much Zhu has to pay when he doesn't have evidence. By saying this I may have no chance of ever returning to China but I have to say it for the sake of the country.''</P> <P>Mr Lin said the South China Institute of Software Engineering, which he founded with Ms Chou and Mr Zhu, has 10,000 students and is valued at 1 billion yuan.</P> <P>Ms Chou's sister, Zou Ping, returned to Guangzhou from Sydney for a year as she tried to extract Ms Chou from detention.</P> <P>She met with Mr Zhu over yum cha in Hong Kong and said he had told her that if he gained control of the university he would give half the proceeds to everyone who had helped in the case.</P> <P>The Guangzhou police and court did not respond to the <EM>Herald's</EM> questions.</P> <P><STRONG>with Sanghee Liu </STRONG></P></DIV></BOD></DIV></BODY></HTML>