Ex-po­lice chief found guilty of graft

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A for­mer po­lice chief, who was in­volved in a high-pro­file case in which a teenager was wrong­fully con­victed, was sen­tenced on Tues­day to 18 years in prison on four crim­i­nal charges, a court in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion said.

Feng Zhim­ing, the ex-deputy di­rec­tor of the pub­lic se­cu­rity bureau in Ho­hhot, the re­gion’s cap­i­tal, was handed the sen­tence for bribery, em­bez­zle­ment, il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of firearms and hold­ing a large amount of un­de­clared as­sets, ac­cord­ing to a judg­ment re­leased by the re­gional Hu­lun­buir In­ter­me­di­ate Peo­ple’s Court via its mi­cro blog.

Feng was also fined 1.1 mil­lion yuan ($163,000), judg­ment said.

It said that Feng abused his work post in the bureau be­tween 2008 and 2014 to ben­e­fit 13 de­part­ments and in­di­vid­u­als, and then ac­cepted money in re­turn.

He and his wife sold real es­tate worth more than 3.8 mil­lion yuan at above-mar­ket value dur­ing the same pe­riod, and he could not clar­ify how he had come to own more than 34 mil­lion yuan worth of prop­erty, it said.

He was also found guilty of il­le­gally pos­sess­ing four firearms and 549 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion, and sell­ing a State-owned car worth 150,000 yuan, it added.

The case re­ceived wide at­ten­tion in the pub­lic and the le­gal in­dus­try, as Feng headed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Hugjiltu, a teenager who was wrong­fully con­victed about two decades ago.

Be­fore stand­ing trial on Aug 1, he was ac­cused of dere­lic­tion of duty, “but it’s a pity that the charge was not proved in the judg­ment,” said Zhao Li, a crim­i­nal lawyer from Jing­shi Law Firm in Bei­jing.

Hugjiltu was ex­e­cuted quickly af­ter­he­wassen­tenced to death for rape and mur­der in 1996.

He was de­clared in­no­cent in De­cem­ber 2014 and his sen­tence was an­nounced as a wrong­ful con­vic­tion.

In Zhao’s view, the court did not con­firm that Feng’s dere­lic­tion of duty at­trib­uted to in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence, “be­cause prov­ing the po­lice of­fi­cer tor­tured in in­ter­ro­ga­tions or made mis­takes in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was dif­fi­cult”.

But the lawyer said: “The dif­fi­culty does not mean that we will stop blam­ing those re­spon­si­ble for ju­di­cialmis­car­riages, or ar­gu­ing against the tor­ture that mainly brought wrong­ful con­vic­tions.”

“The penalty for the for­mer chief­may com­fort the teenager’s fam­ily to some ex­tent and seems to give some sort of ex­pla­na­tion to the pub­lic, but the way to re­duce le­gal mis­takes for ju­di­cial bod­ies is still dif­fi­cult,” he said.

He sug­gested that it is ef­fec­tive to reg­u­late the ways that po­lice of­fi­cers can col­lect ev­i­dence.

Feng Zhim­ing

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