PARIS: French police confirmed on Thursday (January 31st) that the death of HNA Group spokesman Wang Jian during the official trip to France last summer was coincidental, rejecting a newspaper report that he probably committed suicide.
The police investigation concluded that Wang, who came under pressure from Beijing for huge HNA debts, fell from a wall in Bonnieux Village, near Avignon, on July 3, during the shooting.
READ: Chinese President HNA Wang dies in France after falling from the wall
On a first page on Thursday, the French daily Liberation said the eyewitness reports were in contravention of police investigation findings. One witness, a local street cleaner, said Wang had jumped before he fell.
"Only liberation and its journalists believe in suicide," a spokeswoman for the National Gendarmerie told Reuters. "We stand behind the conclusions of our investigation that this was a random death."
HNA refused to comment. The local prosecutor also refused to respond to the Liberation Report.
Wang was considered an architect of $ 50 billion in redemption, where HNA accumulated assets ranging from shares in Deutsche Bank AG to high-quality foreign real estate. Under pressure from Beijing, HNA sold many of these resources to reduce the debt.
The Aviation-Financial Services Conglomerate that counts Hainan Airlines Co. as its core asset, HNA sales includes holding companies such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., Park Hotels & Resorts and Spanish NH Hotels.
At the time of Wang's death, analysts said the pressure on HNA borrowing was still enormous and that adoption would make it more difficult for conglomerates to restructure and pay for loans.