Killer freed after "victim" turns up alive

21:55, May 11, 2010      

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A man who served 11 years of a 29-year prison sentence for murder was freed Monday after he was convicted of killing turned up alive, according to the Xinhua News Agency. (Photo: Global Times)

A man who served 11 years of a 29-year prison sentence for murder was freed Monday after he was convicted of killing turned up alive, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The Higher People's Court in Henan Province confirmed on Sunday that the man thought to be the killer, Zhao Zuohai, is in fact innocent, and that the procedure for compensation according to national regulations will be launched.

In 1997, Zhao was involved in a fight with another villager, Zhao Zhenshang, who then vanished as he feared further violence. His family reported Zhao Zhenshang was missing, and he earned his living collecting garbage.

In 1999, the authorities found a headless body believed to be Zhao Zhenshang. Zhao Zuohai was detained and confessed to the killing.

Zhao Zuohai's wife, Zhao Xiaoqi, remarried after her husband was jailed. She said that the police locked her in a local factory, beat her for a month and forced her to confess her husband's crime, the Beijing News reported.

Zhao Zuohai's relatives said he has scars due to police torture that led to his "confession".

The case raises public concerns about the police's use of torture to extract confessions, and the authorities are investigating these allegations.

In addition, the judges who handed down the guilty verdict will be punished, according to Zhang Liyong, chief judge of the Higher People's Court.

Zhao's daughter is reportedly filing a claim of one million yuan ($146,434.32) for torture and miscarriage of justice.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:梁军)

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