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Defendants confessed 'after police torture'

NINETEEN of the 26 defendants being tried in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality for alleged involvement in a big mafia ring told court yesterday that police had tortured them to obtain confessions.

One of the defendants, to win court leniency, said he exposed an organized detention house escape a decade ago, The Beijing News reported today.

A day before, the alleged mastermind Chen Zhiyi also claimed he had been tortured and was about to reveal his injuries, but was prevented by judge Zhou Jin in Chongqing No.2 Intermediate People's Court.

Former policeman Cai Shuqing, one of the 19 defendants questioning the police interrogation method at yesterday's hearing, said tortured confession had been used.

Cai was charged of allegedly providing protection over the mafia ring by giving lighter punishment to the gang members when he was captain of No.3 criminal squad with Yubei District Security Bureau.

But Cai shrugged off the charge, saying what he did had all gained approval from bureau-level officials and had been regarded as major achievements by the bureau.

Some defendants asked to be shown the original confession documents as they argued that documents read in court were not the originals they had signed.

Prosecutors dismissed the defendants' torture claims, saying that there was only the defendants' word for it and no other proof.

The trial continues today.


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