Policemen arrested for torturing innocent

08:24, May 13, 2010      

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Three police officers in central Henan Province were arrested Wednesday for suspected torturing of Zhao Zuohai, who was forced to admit a "murder" case and wrongly jailed for up to 10 years.

Guo Shouhai and Zhou Minghan, have been detained while the third cop, Li Deling, is still at large, sources said. They are all accused of torturing Zhao, 57.

Chinese authorities have started a probe into wrongful imprisonment of Zhao on Wednesday, said Song Guoqiang, an official with the people's procuratorate in Shangqiu city, Henan Province.

Song said the prosecutors have questioned a dozen of people involved in Zhao's conviction at the local public security bureau and court system.

The Henan Provincial Higher People's Court has also promised to penalize the judges responsible for the conviction.

Henan authorities apologized to Zhao Zuohai Tuesday and offered him 10,000 yuan ($1,464) in compensation.

Zhao is expected to receive more compensation in accordance with China's newly-enacted State Compensation Law. The amount is expected to amount to 450,000 yuan ($65,904), sources said.

In October 1997, Zhao Zuohai and his neighbor Zhao Zhenshang had a fight in their home county of Zhecheng, after which Zhao Zhenshang went missing.

A year later, in May 1999, a headless and highly decomposed body was found in the village. Zhao Zuohai was arrested and convicted in 2002 of murdering Zhao Zhenshang.
He was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. The sentence was later commuted to a 29-year imprisonment.

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