CHINA> Regional
108 stand accused in Urumqi riot
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-09 08:44

Accusations have been brought against 108 suspects allegedly involved in the riot in Urumqi in July, the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the city's deputy chief procurator said.

Among accused suspects connected with 55 cases, only 21 suspects involved in six cases were charged with homicide, arson and robbery and will be prosecuted in the Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi.

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The 21 will be the first batch of riot suspects to stand trial, Liu Bo, the city's deputy chief procurator, told Xinhua.

"The police and procuratorate have made a lot of effort to collect solid and legitimate evidence against each suspect allegedly involved in criminal activities in the riot. The effort includes crime scene investigation, collection and analyzing evidence as well as identifying victims," Liu said.

"It's a time-consuming task for the police force due to the number of people and the amount of evidence involved," Liu said. "That's why we have only instituted public prosecutions against 21 suspects so far, but the procuratorate will speed up the process of public prosecution for the rest of the suspects."

In response to the July 5 riot, which left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured, local police have so far requested the procuratorate approve the arrests of 575 suspects thought to have been involved in 366 cases. Among the 575 requests, 430 have been granted, Liu said.

Police have previously said that 825 people have been detained so far in connection with the riot.

The procuratorate also published brief details of the first six prosecuted cases, which left 25 people dead. All 21 suspects involved are charged with intentional homicide, which could lead to death sentences.

In one case, Abdukerim Abduwayit is charged with intentional homicide and arson for kicking and stabbing five people to death at Tuanjie Road and torching several buildings.

In another case, four suspects, led by Gheni Yusup, were alleged to have beaten five people to death in four different locations. The group also torched a grain and oil distribution center, which caused five people who were trapped inside to burn to death.

They are charged with intentional homicide, arson and robbery.

Liu also cleared the rumor that suspect Han Junbo's wife was brutally killed in the riot and that was why Han killed one person as revenge.

"Han's wife and three children are safe and sound," said Liu. Han is charged with intentional homicide.

Police have also confirmed the arrest of the suspect who killed armed police Wan Jingang during the riot. The suspect was detained on Sept 19 and will be prosecuted as soon as possible, said Su Yanbing, the vice-chief of Urumqi public security bureau.

Meng Jianzhu, state councilor and public security minister, has urged no leniency in the punishment of those who took part in the Urumqi riot.

China Daily