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Men compensated after 10 years of wrongful imprisonment


16:53, May 20, 2013

HANGZHOU, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A court in east China has decided to compensate two men after they were acquitted of rape charges that landed them in jail for 10 years, court sources said Monday.

The Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court decided to give Zhang Hui and Zhang Gaoping 1.11 million yuan (179,000 U.S. dollars) each to compensate them for the deprivation of their personal freedom, as well as mental damage, the sources said.

The decision was made on Friday, about two weeks after Zhang Hui and his uncle Zhang Gaoping applied for combined compensation of 2.66 million yuan on May 2.

Zhang Hui was given a death sentence and Zhang Gaoping was sentenced to life in prison by the Hangzhou Municipal Intermediate People's Court on April 21, 2004 for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl.

The court's judgment was later changed to a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for Zhang Gaoping and a 15-year prison term for his nephew Zhang Hui during a second trial conducted by the Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court.

The two men gave a free ride to a 17-year-old girl on the night of May 18, 2003, when they were transporting freight to Shanghai.

They dropped the girl off in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang, at 1:50 a.m. the next morning and continued on their way to Shanghai. The girl's naked body was discovered later that day.

The two men became the principal suspects and were detained days later, as they were the last people to have seen the girl alive.

They were freed on March 26 this year by the Zhejiang Provincial Higher People's Court, as there was new evidence showing the possibility of another suspect and evidence presented during the previous trial was not enough to support the conviction.

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