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October 13, 2009

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6 receive death penalty, 1 jailed for life after grim Xinjiang riots

SIX men, who were convicted of murder and other crimes in the July 5 riot in Xinjiang, were sentenced to death yesterday after a first-instance trial, and another man was jailed for life.
Abdukerim Abduwayit, Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi, Nureli Wuxiu'er and Alim Metyusup were condemned by the Intermediate People's Court in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Tayirejan Abulimit was given life imprisonment as he confessed to crimes of murder and robbery and helped police capture Alim Metyusup.
All seven men had been convicted of murder, and some of them were also convicted of arson or robbery.
The seven were the first to be sentenced over the riot, which left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured in Urumqi.
Abdukerim Abduwayit killed five people with a dagger and a wrench during the riot. He also set fire to a downtown building, forcing 13 people to jump to escape and causing damage of more than 260,000 yuan (US$38,067).
In the second case, Gheni Yusup led Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi and Nureli Wuxiu'er in beating four people to death and injuring another. They smashed and looted shops and vehicles.
Abdulla Mettohti and others also set a grain and oil shop ablaze, killing five people who were hiding inside and causing damage of 1.37 million yuan.
In the third case, Alim Metyusup and Tayirejan Abulimit together killed three people and seriously injured another. They also robbed the victims of their mobile phones.
Alim Metyusup, with other mobs, killed another two people and set fire to houses, resulting in damage of more than 50,000 yuan, the court heard.
Public prosecutors presented testimony from witnesses, autopsy reports and other evidence in court, and played monitoring video of the scenes of crimes.
More than 400 people, including legislators, political advisers, family members of the defendants and victims, and journalists, observed the court hearings.
Proceedings were done in the Uygur language along with simultaneous interpretation.
"I observed the entire hearing of one case," said Cui Chunyu, a legislator.
"The facts were clear, the evidence certain and the sentences fair."
Yesterday's sentences came after a court in southern China on Saturday sentenced a man to death for his role in a deadly toy factory brawl between Han and Uygur workers in Shaoguan, Guangdong Province, that helped spark the riots in Xinjiang.


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