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Police officers on trial for dereliction of duty, abuse of inmates
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08:27, August 07, 2009

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A first court hearing opened in Kunming Thursday into two police officers accused of dereliction of duty and abuse of inmates.

At the hearing in Songming County Court in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, the prosecutor said defendant Li Dongming, serving as a discipline officer for Jinning County Detention Center's No. 9 Cell, failed to stop bullying that led to the death of 24-year-old Li Qiaomin.

Li had been detained for felling trees without authorization on January 29 this year.

The two Lis were not related. During his detention, Li Qiaomin was repeatedly beaten by other inmates in the same cell. He was severely injured and died on February 8 despite medical workers' efforts.

Li's death resulted in a great deal of public resentment as he was originally said to have died during a "hide-and-seek" game.

Su Shaolu, the second defendant, who worked at the same detention center, was accused of violating a regulation banning corporal punishment, and of abusing more than 20 inmates who had disobeyed detention center rules. One method Su often used for punishment was making the inmates kneel.

The prosecutor said both Li Dongming and Su had violated China's laws and should be punished for dereliction of duty and for abusing inmates, accordingly.

The court hearing lasted for five hours, but failed to produce a verdict Thursday.

Jinning and Songming are counties administered by Kunming City.

Source: Xinhua

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