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Cops sentenced over fatal street brawl

TWO police officers in northeast China were sentenced today over a fatal street brawl last October in Heilongjiang's provincial capital Harbin.

Harbin Intermediate People's Court sentenced Qi Xin, former vice captain with Harbin railway police, to life imprisonment and Liu Linan, a former railway police officer, to 12 years, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two were also ordered to pay 334,534 yuan (US$48,938.64) in compensation to the family of the victim, Lin Songling, a 22-year-old college student.

The court also sentenced Lin's friend Yang Sen, an unemployed man, to three years in jail and ordered him to pay 37,245.11 yuan in compensation to another two people injured in the fight - Li Xinyu, a former officer with Harbin police's anti drug squad, and Wang Jingang, an officer from Harbin Police's Xiangfang Branch.

The court found the officers had a quarrel with Lin and Yang on the night of October 11, 2008 outside the Candy Bar after Yang criticized Li over his driving.

Yang began the fight by attacking Li and Wang, injuring them slightly. He and Lin then attacked Qi, injuring him slightly.

Lin tried to escape. Qi and Liu chased him and beat him up after he tripped and fell to the ground. The beating caused Lin's death.

The court said Qi, Liu and Yang were guilty of assaulting and injuring other people.

It gave a lenient sentence to Qi, who played a major role in the fracas, fighting after being injured by Lin.

Liu was also given a lighter punishment because he surrendered himself to police, the court said.

Wang, Li and the two other officers who were at the brawl scene were not tried because a surveillance videotape of the fight showed they had not contributed to Lin's death.


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