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China Daily Website

New evidence could set jailed men free

Updated: 2013-01-23 20:08
By SHI YINGYING in Shanghai and ZHAO YINAN in Beijing (

The Zhejiang Provincial High People's Court has recalled a potential unjust case that may have put five innocent men in prison for 17 years.

According to a statement posted on the court's website on Jan 19, a new clue may influence the ruling was handed to the high court from the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court on Dec 31. The high court decided to review the case on Jan 4.

Chen Jianyang, Tian Weidong, Wang Jianping and Zhu Youping were each given a death sentence with reprieve and Tian Xiaoping was condemned to life imprisonment for a robbery homicide case involving the deaths of two taxi drivers in December of 1997.

The five natives from Zhejiang's Hangzhou have spent the past 17 years in prison since they were caught in 1995, two years after the taxi robberies happened.

Legal Daily quoted a source from the high court saying that "the murderer is someone else".

"We put it on the record review and will complete the investigation within three months," the source said.

On Jan 19, He Bing, a law scholar with China University of Politics and Law, said a source told him Zhejiang's local public security bureau indentified the blood fingerprint found at the crime scene last year and caught the suspect.

Relatives of Zhu Youping told Legal Daily that they couldn't comment on the case as Zhu was still serving his sentence.

"There was a problem with the evidence and Zhu was aware of it. I don't know why he made his confession inside (in the prison)," the newspaper quoted a member of Zhu's family as saying.

Tang Hongxin, a criminal lawyer, said the five suspects can apply for compensation or lodge a lawsuit, if they are proved to be wrongly convicted.