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Suspect in S China assault case confesses via microblog

(Xinhua)

08:49, September 22, 2011

GUANGZHOU, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- A man suspected of assault confessed his crime to police through Weibo, a popular microblogging site in China, after evading police for three months, a local police official said Wednesday.

The suspect, surnamed Qin, assaulted a person with a beer bottle in the city of Zhongshan and then fled. He contacted police through Weibo on September 16, said Wang Zhiqiang, deputy chief of the police bureau in the city of Zhongshan in south China's Guangdong Province.

Qin was the first suspect to confess a crime via Weibo in Guangdong Province, Wang said.

The police chief said the suspect sent a private message to the microblog account of the police bureau in Zhongshan, asking whether his crime would be eligible for bail. An officer then persuaded Qin to turn himself over to the police.

Qin followed the officer's advice and confessed his crime to police on Weibo before turning himself in to the Zhongshan police bureau. Police are currently managing his bail, the official said.

Weibo users said they believe microblogging sites are good platforms for people and police to interact.

The public security bureau in the city of Fuzhou posted a tongue-in-cheek announcement directed at fugitives on its microblog in August.

"Dear, come back home. I know you can not eat well nor sleep well now. Dear, when you come back, police will listen to your stories," the post said.

Over 1,000 public security bureaus have opened microblog accounts, which have become important tools assisting the police, according to a report on online government administration issued by Shanghai's Fudan University.

Police in the city of Xiamen called for information on the murder of a young girl on a microblog site last November. The police reported receiving useful sources through the microblog.

Qin turned himself in at a time when China is performing a nationwide crackdown on fugitives.

The crackdown was launched in May and has entered a crucial stage, said Liu Jinguo, deputy minister of public security on Tuesday.

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