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Buddhist monk convicted of murder

(Xinhua)

16:13, June 14, 2012

NANCHANG, June 14 (Xinhua) -- A man who lived as as a Buddhist monk for 18 years after committing murder has been handed a death penalty with reprieve, a local court said on Thursday.

Xu Xinlian, born in 1973 in Jiujiang County, was given a death sentence with two years' reprieve and was deprived of political rights for life on Wednesday afternoon, according to the verdict of the intermediate people's court of Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province.

Together with another five people, Xu killed a couple and injured a two-year-old child on July 27, 1994, at a dormitory of the railway bureau of Jiujiang County.

The other suspects were arrested after the crime, but Xu has been at large for 18 years.

He was caught in a Buddhist temple in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, on November 11, 2011, when he was acting as monastery manager for two local temples and was known by the monk name Weidi.

The court ruled that Xu was the principal criminal of the case, since he played a leading role in the murder.

Xu was sentenced to death for the cruelty of the murder and the severity of its consequence, but he was granted two years' reprieve because he had no other criminal record and confessed his guilt after being caught, the court said.

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