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Retrial begins in 1995 murder case | Updated: 2013-05-22 18:56

The Jiaxing Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang province on May 22 began a retrial in a 1995 murder case, a development that might exonerate the five men who received heavy sentences for the crime 17 years ago.

The defendant, Xiang Shengyuan was charged with intentional homicide after the police last year discovered that his fingerprints matched those collected in March 1995 at the homicide scene.

Two taxi drivers were robbed and killed in the Xiaoshan district of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on March 20 and Aug 12, 1995.

Four men who were in their 20s received death sentences with a reprieve of two years, and another was given life imprisonment, the Zhejiang Provincial High People’s Court announced in 1997.

The provincial high court published a notice in January saying there was an error in the original judgment and the court will review the case. The court announced on May 21 that a retrial has been proposed.

Xiang, a 41-year-old native of Hangzhou, pleaded guilty during the trial on May 22, but his attorney said he believes some of the evidence is questionable.

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