Home>News Center>China

Court sued over wrongful imprisonment
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-09 05:53

YANCHENG, Jiangsu: A man who was wrongly sentenced to death and spent nearly 600 days in jail, says he was tortured by police and is demanding 1.26 million yuan (US$160,000) compensation.

Zhou Rukou, who had murder and robbery charges against him dropped in April, yesterday took his case against the Yancheng Municipal Procuratorate and Intermediate People's Court to Jiangsu Provincial High People's Court.

He is suing the two bodies for putting him in prison for 576 days, and sentencing him to death, "with no evidence."

Zhou claims he should be compensated for "mental injury, restrictions to his freedom, infringements of his right to life and health, and financial losses," his lawyer Sun Guoxiang told China Daily.

Zhou, 51, from Yancheng County, East China's Jiangsu Province, was detained on April 10, 2002, after being accused of robbing and murdering an 84-year-old man, Zhou Chengtang, who lived in the same village.

According to Zhou's lawyer, the only evidence police relied on to justify the arrest was a bruise on Zhou's neck, which they took as proof he had been in a fight.

Zhou told reporters that during interrogation he was tortured by 12 police officers, finally falsely confessing to the killing and saying he threw a knife and the old man's wallet into a small river.

Police did not find the wallet or knife even though they drained the whole river.

Police officers have admitted failing to turn up these two vital pieces of evidence, but Wang Chunquan, head of the police bureau of Yancheng, denied Zhou's claim of torture.

Yancheng Municipal Intermediate People's Court handed down the death penalty in September 2002, a sentence which was overturned at retrial by the Jiangsu Provincial High People's Court in July 2003 because of the lack of evidence.

Zhou was released on bail in November 2003, and was exonerated in April this year when Yancheng Municipal Procuratorate withdrew the case.

"We could not find enough evidence, so we withdrew," said Zhou Honggeng, a prosecutor with the procuratorate.

In addition to compensation, Zhou has called for the arrest and trial of police and prosecutors he believes played roles in his 'illegal' imprisonment.

According to the State Compensation Law, those who are wrongly imprisoned should receive 63.7 yuan (US $ 8) for each day of freedom they are denied. Zhou would be due 36,700 yuan (US$4,608) for the 576 days he spent in jail.

Legal experts, including Zhao Xuguang from the Law School of Nanjing University, say that if Zhou's allegations of illegal imprisonment and torture are true, he should get much more.

Zhou's family suffered greatly following the arrest. His eldest son was divorced by his wife because she did not want to be married to the son of a murderer.

His two school-age daughters could not go to school because the family spent all they had, including the girls' tuition money, on trying to save Zhou.

(China Daily 11/09/2005 page3)

Hu arrives in Britain
Beijing closes poultry markets
Twin panda cubs in Wolong
  Today's Top News     Top China News

President Hu Jintao in Britain for visit



Bush: US-China ties 'important' and 'good'



Six-Party Talks resume; differences remain



Institute to make Tamiflu if epidemic spreads



Most Chinese unsatisfied with sex lives



US, China reach agreement on textile, clothing


  Quick action urged in bird flu prevention
  China to call for bird flu cooperation at APEC
  Hu leaves Beijing for 4-country visit
  Six parties gather in Beijing for nuclear talks
  US, China expected to sign textile deal today
  Sino-British ties make headway - ambassador
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.