1996 murder probe to be reheard
Legal authorities in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region plan to rehear a case of rape and murder 18 years after the convictedmanwas executed, Mirror News reported in Beijing on Thursday.
The decision comes as legal authorities across the country seek to correct miscarriages of justice and achieve greater transparency and independence, the report said.
But another newsoutlet, thepaper.cn, reported later on Thursday that the convicted man’s family and lawyer have yet to receive any confirmed news from the legal authorities.
Hugjiltu, an 18-year-old member of theMongolian ethnic group, was convicted of raping and choking a woman to death in Hohhot, the region’s capital, in April 1996. The victim was attacked in a public toilet at a textile factory.
He was executed in June that year, 61 days after the woman was killed. The authorities had launched a crackdown on violent crime, and serious cases were being fast-tracked through the courts. Hugjiltu was convicted despite a lack of evidence, and in 2005 another man told police he had committed the crime.
The Mirror News report says Hugjiltu rushed into the toilet to help when he heard the victim cry out. He found her dead, and called the police. He came under suspicion, and after a 48-hour interrogation he confessed that he had raped and killed the woman.
His parents did not believe he could commit such a crime, and they started a campaign to prove his innocence.
In October 2005, a suspect named Zhao Zhihong confessed to 10 cases of raping and killing women, including the one thatHugjiltu was convicted of. However, this crime was not listed on Zhao’s indictment when he appeared in court.
Zhao was sentenced to death, but after the hearing he wrote a letter to prosecutors in December 2006 sayingHugjiltu had been innocent.
Zhao was able to describe the attack in detail, and showed police where it had happened, an officer handling the cases told the media in 2011. Zhao’s execution was postponed.
President Xi Jinping warned of serious problems in China’s legal system and pledged to end miscarriages of justice when he spoke at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China a week ago, XinhuaNews Agency reported.
He said the judicial system was dogged by unfair trials and corrupt judges.
InAugust, theFujianProvincialHighCourt acquitted shopkeeper Nian Bin six years after he was sentenced to death by an intermediate people’s court for killing his neighbor’s two children. It was the final ruling after four guilty verdicts and subsequent appeals.
Nian, from Pingtan county, became a suspect because he was not on good terms with the victims’ family at the time of the attack in 2006.
Inanothercase, LiHuailiang, from Pingdingshan, Henan province, received 780,000 yuan ($127,600) in compensation in December 2013 for the 4,282 days he spent in prison, plus 200,000 yuan for mental suffering. He was wrongly imprisoned for the rape and murder of a teenage girl in 2001. Yuan Hui in Hohhot contributed to the story.