Thu, June 03, 2010
China > Mainland

Three arrested after man wrongly jailed for 11 years in central China city

2010-06-03 05:26:57 GMT2010-06-03 13:26:57 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ZHENGZHOU, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police have arrested three in an infamous murder case, in which the victim was wrongly identified, and an innocent man wrongly jailed for 11 years.

The Public Security Bureau in Shangqiu City, central China's Henan Province, confirmed Thursday they had used DNA technology to identify the beheaded body as Gao Zongzhi not Zhao Zhenshang -- who turned up alive April 30 this year after he'd been missing since 1997.

Police arrested Zhao Zuohai after the dismembered body was found in 1999. Zhao was acquitted on May 9.

Shangqiu police said that all of the three suspects -- Yang Mingfu, Li Haijin and Zhang Xiangliang -- disappeared from their homes in Shangqiu's rural areas, after Zhao's acquittal.

Police later arrested Yang in downtown Shangqiu, Li in north China's Tianjin Municipality, and Zhang in northeast China's Liaoning Province in May.

The three confessed to killing the local man Gao, after having a business dispute with him.

Police video tapped their interrogations of the three, and found the skull of the victim according to the suspects' confessions.

Zhang Liyong, head of the Henan Provincial Higher People's Court, said Wednesday the miscarriage of justice on Zhao Zuohai has severely eroded the credibility of judiciary.

After being released, Zhao said he was forced to confess to murder. He was beaten up during interrogations and kept awake for more than 30 days by police.

While Zhao was in jail, his wife remarried, two of his four children were adopted and the other two left home to become migrant workers.

Zhao has received 650,000 yuan (96,000 U.S. dollars) in compensation and an official apology.

Three former police officers have been arrested for allegedly torturing Zhao to extract a false confession. A chief judge at the provincial court has been put on leave in the investigation into Zhao's case.

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