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Court accepts bomber family's lawsuit

By Guo Kai (Global Times)

08:20, September 13, 2012

The family of a man who was mistakenly accused by police of setting off a bomb that killed four people in Yunnan Province has had its defamation lawsuit accepted by a local court.

The family of Zhao Dengyong, 26, is suing the public security bureau of Qiaojia county which insisted Zhao was responsible.

The Qiaojia County People's Court said Tuesday it will hear the case which is demanding the local police publish a public apology in five national newspapers and pay 2-million-yuan ($314,961) in compensation, the family's lawyer Lan He told the Global Times.

An official at the Qiaojia court, who declined to be identified, confirmed to the Global Times the registration of the law suit has been approved.

"We are just following legal procedures. The public security bureau has not yet been informed, nor has the date of a hearing been set."

Lan said the family was worried the court would not accept the suit against the local police when they first filed it with the court on September 5.

After the May 10 blast, Zhao was immediately suspected by police of being the person who set off a bomb inside a community hall where locals were signing land transfer agreements.

They said Zhao killed himself and three others to retaliate against society. Zhao's family questioned the police assumption saying there was no clear motive. Sixteen people were also injured in the explosion.

Yang Chaobang, the county's police chief, said in May that he would bet his job on the police determination that Zhao set off the bomb.

A further investigation by the provincial public security bureau in August found that Zhao had been duped into carrying a backpack into the hall. Two men paid Zhao 100 yuan to unwittingly deliver the bomb.

Police now say Deng Deyong and Song Chaoyu, two villagers who were upset about the compensation they were required to accept for their land, orchestrated the blast. They are in police custody awaiting trial.

After their error in judgment was revealed, local police offered Zhao's family 60,000 yuan, which was refused. The family asked for a 1-million-yuan settlement for psychological suffering, saying the false allegations embroiled the family in "enormous controversy."

The family decided to resort to legal action after police failed to respond to its initial counter offer to settle.

Lan, the lawyer, called the court's move a first step in protecting the family's rights.

"The registration of the case showed that the rational way of defending their rights has been widely accepted by both the local government and the public," Lan told the Global Times.

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