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Jail for policemen after suspect dies in custody

FOUR former policemen in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province were jailed yesterday by court for intentional injury that led to the death of a suspect during interrogation.

The Qing'an County People's Court sentenced Zhu Songyan and Zhu Chundong to 11 years and 10 years respectively. The court also deprived both of political rights for three years and two years respectively. Cui Hailong and Fan Zhiguo were jailed for four years and three years respectively. All of the accused are to appeal.

The court found the four policemen guilty of illegally using handcuffs, restraints and physical punishment on Li Fuxiang in a 2000 interrogation about a robbery.

According to a forensic report, Li died of heart failure as a result.

The report said Li was kept in a standing position in iron restraints for a long time, which induced myocarditis.

The case had been delayed because of a lack of evidence but investigations restarted last year.

A court official said the accused had retracted their previous confessions in court and pled not guilty.

The official also said the court had invited criminal law experts from the Supreme People's Court and Tsinghua University to weigh in on the penalty.

One of the defendants' lawyers said the sentences were heavier than expected and they would appeal.


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