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Court upholds sentences of Urumqi riots convicted
By Cui Jia (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-31 09:16

URUMQI: A higher court has upheld the original sentences handed down to all 21 people convicted so far for crimes connected to the July 5 riots in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The 21 defendants were the first batch of rioters to be tried for offences, including murder, following the riot that left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured.

The defendants had their first-instance trials at the Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi earlier this month.

Of the 21, nine received death sentences, three got death sentences with a two-year reprieve - a sentence often commuted to life in prison - and four were sentenced to life in prison. Five others were handed lesser prison terms.

All of the second-instance trials involving death penalties were heard in open session.

The higher court said all rulings made during the first-instance trials were appropriate, considering the conclusive evidence presented.

The nine sentenced to death are Abdukerim Abduwayit, Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi, Nureli Wuxiu'er, Alim Metyusup, Ahmatjan Moming, Tohti Pazil and Han Junbo.

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The death sentences will take effect after the convictions are reviewed by the Supreme People's Court.

Abduwayit, Rozi and Wuxiu'er were convicted of killing four people and injuring another using rods and rocks.

Abduwayit was also convicted of killing five other people after he and others set fire to a building. Yusup and Mettohti were convicted of beating five people to death and injuring two others.

Metyusup and another man together killed three people and seriously injured one person.

Moming and Pazil were found to have beaten two people to death.

Han was found guilty of attacking two people, one of whom died of his injuries.

The court also reviewed and approved the penalties of six others who did not lodge appeals.

Xinhua contributed to the story