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Self-defending woman found innocent
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-17 01:48

A young Beijing woman rests easy after learning the murder she committed was deemed a justifiable defence by the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court Thursday. The 22-year-old woman killed a man who broke into her room and beat her last year.

The court affirmed the judgment of first instance at a grass-roots court, which declared the innocence of the woman, Wu Jinyan.

In September last year, Wu, a hotel waitress in Beijing's Haidian District, was awakened by three drunken men who rushed into her room at midnight.

Wu shared the room with two other waitresses including a woman surnamed Yin.

Sun, one of the men, drew aside Yin's quilt and began to beat her in the face and chest.

He intended to force Yin out of the room while tearing Yin's pajamas baring her breasts.

Wu, the defendant of the case, intended to stop Sun.

Sun then began to also beat and undress Wu. Wu fetched a knife to defend herself.

Sun and another man, surnamed Zhang, both left the room. But the third man Li stayed and used an iron lock to beat Wu.

Wu stabbed Li in his chest, killing him.

Local police arrested Wu the day of the attack.

The public procurator believed, for mere trifles, Wu injured a citizens' right of health which resulted in his death.

The procurator claimed Wu committed a crime of willful and malicious injury.

Li's parents requested a compensation from Wu of 227,000 yuan (US$27,400).

The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court decided Thursday that Wu acted in legal defence.

"The actions of Li and the other two men were serious enough to endanger Wu's life. Wu had no choice but to defend herself," the final judgment said.

The Criminal Law gives citizens the right of boundless defence when they experience violent crimes endangering their lives.

A person who causes harm in exercising justifiable defence should not bear civil liability, according to the General Principles of Civil Law.

The court decided Wu is free from any criminal or civil responsibility according to law.

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