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Wrongly jailed men seek compensation


16:21, April 27, 2013

HANGZHOU, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Two men who were wrongly jailed for almost a decade are demanding 7.02 million yuan (1.1 million U.S. dollars) in compensation from the state, officials at the Higher People's Court in east China's Zhejiang Province said Saturday.

The court acquitted Zhang Hui and his uncle Zhang Gaoping of rape on March 26 this year after a retrial found insufficient evidence to support their conviction.

The court also notified the two of their lawful right to seek state compensation upon their acquittal.

The application for compensation has been submitted, said court officials, adding that the court will handle the case in accordance with the law so that the two men can get their lives back to normal as soon as possible.

Zhang Gaofa, elder brother of Zhang Gaoping, said the sum that they are demanding is reasonable. It includes state compensation and other subsidies for the number of years they spent in jail.

According to court hearings, on the night of May 18, 2003, the Zhangs gave a ride to a 17-year-old woman surnamed Wang when they were transporting freight to the provincial capital Hangzhou. The woman was found dead the next day.

Police detained the pair on May 23, 2003, as suspects in Wang's death but failed to provide physical evidence to bring charges against them.

Under pressure, Zhang Gaoping said they were forced to confess to the crime of rape during police interrogations.

Provincial authorities are still investigating the wrongdoings concerning all law enforcement organs over the wrongful convictions.

The payment the Zhangs are demanding is much higher than the 650,000 yuan of state compensation given to another wrongly convicted man, Zhao Zuohai, a farmer in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, in 2010.

Zhao served 11 years in prison for murder. However, the man he was alleged to have murdered turned up alive. Zhao was released in May 2010.

He said the police tortured him into making a confession.

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