By Latrishka Thomas
March 16 is now the date set for the committal hearing of Tianzhao “Alex” Feng who is suspected to have burned down popular supermarket XPZ, which opened in 2018.
The 29-year-old had been missing for several days after the store, where he worked, went up in flames in the early hours of June 1 last year.
After being arrested and charged with burning down the Sir Sydney Walling Highway store – which sold food and clothing, household items and toys – Feng made his first appearance in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court that month.
His application for bail was denied after the prosecution argued that Feng, who was unrepresented, presented a flight risk and he was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) pending his committal hearing.
The former supermarket employee’s bail application was reviewed on June 23 after his status in Antigua and Barbuda was verified by the Immigration Department.
The Chinese national was remanded back to HMP — and is still there to this day — since the requirements to consider his bail were not met because he did not have his passport or anyone in Antigua and Barbuda who could stand as surety.
It was also revealed that his time in Antigua and Barbuda had expired.
Thereafter, Feng made his second appearance in October last year but the matter was adjourned again.
He now has to wait about six more weeks to hear whether there is evidence of sufficient weight to support a conviction against him in the High Court.