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September 28, 2009

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Jewelry-box owner's decision frees cleaner

AN airport cleaner held in a detention center in south China since last December suspected of a theft worth more than 3 million yuan (US$439,413) walked free over the weekend after the owner of the box of jewelry in question formally forgave her.

There was no question the woman was in temporary possession of the jewelry weighing 14 kilograms, however criminal intention had been ruled out, the spokesman for the owner told a prosecutors office in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

Liu Wangzhi, chairman of Gold Dragon Jewelry Co Ltd in Dongguan City of Guangdong, said the company's move was fueled by the decision of prosecutors in Shenzhen to not lay theft charges against the cleaner, Liang Li.

Prosecutors dismissed the case, saying only the property's owner had the right to seek redress.

Liang met her husband on Saturday after stepping out from the Shenzhen detention center and shouted at waiting reporters: "I did nothing wrong!"

Liang, 40, picked up and opened the jewelry box mislaid on a luggage cart on December 9 last year and took it home when she finished work at noon.

Shenzhen police referred Liang's case to the Shenzhen People's Procuratorate, accusing her of theft.

The charge was not accepted but police asked for further inquiries.

After two supplementary investigations by local police, the Bao'an District Prosecutors Office granted Liang bail on September 10 and dismissed the case on Saturday.

Liang, who has kidney stones, is receiving free medical treatment at a hospital in Shenzhen awaiting surgery that is expected today.


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