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December 21, 2009

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Hanged-man clip provokes criticism

A VIDEO clip suggesting a detained theft suspect committed suicide in a police interrogation room in Kunming City has generated criticism that it was fabricated.

The video clip was made public by police on Wednesday in the capital of city of Yunnan Province. It was publicized after a previous police explanation over the death of Xing Kun sparked public outrage.

Police initially said Xing had hanged himself in the room with two shoelaces measuring 172 centimeters long after he had unlocked his handcuffs with a rolled banknote. They added that Xing hanged himself in a blind spot not covered by the room's surveillance camera.

The online community strongly questioned whether handcuffs could be unlocked by a rolled banknote and what type of shoelaces could function as a noose.

They also said the video clip could have been edited or even fake since Kunming police had said no video clip was available since Xing hanged himself in a blind spot, Guangzhou-based Information Times reported yesterday.

Different looking

In addition, the man, who could only be seen from the back in the video, looked different than Xing in terms of body size and hair color, according to his uncle You Zengqiang. He added that the man in the video was wearing a different jacket than Xing.

The video also has a nine-hour interval between when the man unlocked the handcuffs and allegedly hanged himself, the report said.

Xing was found dead in the interrogation room at Xiaonan police station at 7:47am on December 12. He was put in the room at 4am that day, Kunming police had said.

Xing's father had told state media that the family never agreed with the official explanation and that they suspected the suicide was a cover-up.

Prosecutors said on Wednesday that Xing had not been tortured during interrogation.

Xing's family, however, presented pictures of Xing's corpse covered with bruises, which prosecutors said was simply rigor mortis.

Xing was suspected of stealing about 50,000 yuan (US$7,323) worth of Sony PSP game devices from a store on October 7.


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