Prints help put murder suspect in prison
XI'AN: A triple killer has finally been brought to justice after his prints linked him to the scene of the brutal crime.
In June 1993 three Japanese tourists were robbed and murdered in their hotel room in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
Although fingerprints were recovered from the scene, police in the Shaanxi provincial capital had no other clues to go on.
Then in April 2001 officers swooped on an illegal gambling den in Guilin, a city in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and arrested and fingerprinted all those rounded up.
Their prints were all subsequently filed on a national database.
But it was not until last year, that officers in Guigang, another city in Guangxi, matched a print from one of the gamblers to one found at the murder scene.
They immediately alerted police in Xi'an and the suspect Hai Ting, 30, was arrested.
Quizzed, Hai confessed his involvement in the hotel slayings and named a man called Cao Xiude, 35, as his accomplice.
But in court on Friday, the two defendants flatly denied involvement in the crime, claiming police coerced them into confessing.
The details contained in Hai's confession, coupled with his fingerprints found on a door handle at the scene, were incontrovertible. And after discussions with their defence lawyers of Hai and Cao, both from Guilin, pleaded guilty to charges of murder and robbery.
Hai's lawyers urged leniency pointing out he was not quite 18 at the time of the crime.
Sentence was adjourned by the Xi'an Intermediate People's Court.
(China Daily 02/28/2005 page3)