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Blind man's bluff prison death probe

OFFICIALS are continuing to probe the death-in-custody case of a young man who police said died in prison after playing blind man's bluff.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate has sent a team of investigators to Yunnan and is expected to announce the result of their inquiries in three days.

The procuratorate officials are mainly investigating official malpractice, The Beijing News reported today.

Li Defa, the father of the dead man, said he saw had new hope of learning the truth now.

An investigation began one day after Li Qiaoming died on February 12, a spokesman for the Yunnan Province Public Security Department said yesterday.

Li Qiaoming, from Yunnan's Yuxi City, was taken into custody in Jinning County on January 30 for illegally cutting down trees to make money for his wedding. He died in a hospital of severe brain injuries.

Police said he was accidentally injured when he ran into a wall blindfolded during a game with other inmates.

Netizens quickly questioned the police explanation, describing it as "weird" and "hard to believe."

To restore public confidence, the Yunnan provincial publicity department set up an investigation task force which included members of the public.

But the task force members were not allowed to interview the other five prisoners involved and were not allowed to see video from security cameras in the victim's cell.


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