Trump asked Xi to look at cases of UCLA basketball players

Pool  Getty Images

Pool Getty Images

Trump told reporters that he brought up the case in talks with Xi during his two-day state visit to Beijing last week.

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill - were arrested last week for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near their hotel. The source noted that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside of a high-end shopping center, which houses Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores.

Ball, Riley and Hill were released around 4 a.m. local time Wednesday and returned to the Hyatt Regency, where they have remained since, along with a UCLA representative, according to a source.

The trio must stay at their hotel in Hangzhou until legal process is complete.

An anonymous USA official told The Washington Post that charges against the three players have been reduced. The US official who spoke with The Washington Post also indicated that charges against the players have been reduced and that the case is proceeding toward a resolution.

Among the arrested was LiAngelo Ball, younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball.

UCLA beat Georgia Tech 63-60 without the three freshmen. Three players were questioned from each team. The two leaders did not speak about it publicly, even though the arrests made headlines worldwide.

"They're working on it right now".

If this source is correct, then the UCLA trio may be a part of the miniscule 0.08% of people who get acquitted in the "Draconian" Chinese courts which are notorious for convicting almost every individual charged of criminal activity, as described by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports.

Trump, who has branded himself as a tough-on-crime politician, seemed to concede the players' guilt, but said it's a "very, very rough situation with what happened to them".

The US Consulate in Shanghai, and Chinese police and officials, have declined to provide information confirming the players' whereabouts and status.

News of the arrests was widespread not only in the United States but also in China, breaking just a day before Trump arrived in the country.

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