A thief who was given 15 days' detention for stealing a mobile phone has taken his accusers to court for wrongful prosecution.
The Head of the Public Security Bureau in Jianggan District of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, was taken to court on Wednesday by a habitual pickpocket who claimed he was wrongly identified in a theft case, according to www.sohu.com.
The accuser Zhang was seized by an anti-theft team on June 10 for allegedly nicking a Nokia 6020 mobile phone from a woman bus passenger, Li.
Zhang was turned over to the public security bureau and, on the second day, was ordered detained for 15 days for stealing.
Zhang was released on June 26 after serving his detention. He then filed a lawsuit against the head of the Jianggan District Public Security Bureau, appealing for a withdrawal of the administrative penalty.
On Wednesday, the district People's Court opened a hearing and the head of the district Public Security Bureau, Zheng Danhui, appeared in court as the accused.
In court, Zhang claimed that he had done nothing illegal on the day the theft had occurred and that it was another man from Guizhou Province who was actually responsible.
He insisted that the charge against him was unsubstantiated, and that he had suffered mentally and physically during the detention.
The bureau head, Zheng, said that they had clearly investigated the facts and that all evidence had proved Zhang's guilt beyond doubt.
Considering the fact that Zhang had previously been penalized for stealing and swindling many times, the bureau made their decision to give Zhang a 15-day detention.
Zheng emphasized that the penalty was "proper and based on legal grounds."
A friend of Zhang's, the victim Li, and one of the anti-theft team members surnamed Jin were also summoned to the court to give evidence.
The hearing went on for more than two hours. The court then deferred judgment saying "the details of the case are very complicated".
In recent years, lawsuits by individuals against official departments have greatly increased.
"It is a welcome change. Now people have learnt to defend themselves in a court of law," said the judge, Chen Yeying.
This is the third case in the district since last April of the head of an administrative department appearing in court in response to a suit.