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September 12, 2009

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Jewelry-suspect cleaner welcomes bail decision

AN airport cleaner who faced life imprisonment for picking up a box full of gold jewelry cried out with relief after she was granted bail yesterday after nine months in jail.

Prosecutors in Bao'an District of south China's Shenzhen City said Liang Li did not need to be detained for further investigation and could be freed while awaiting trial, yesterday's Shenzhen Evening News reported.

Liang, 40, said she thought the box was discarded because she found it behind a trash can at Shenzhen Bao'an Airport on December 9 last year. The box contained jewelry valued at 2.61 million yuan (US$382,221).

Under Chinese law suspects who have been proved harmless to society can be freed on bail. Liang's charges could be dropped if police find no other criminal evidence against her within a year.

Liang's lawyer, Si Xianli, said his client was innocent after she was bailed.

Bao'an District's prosecutors should decide whether or not they would charge Liang with theft by tomorrow, Si told the newspaper.

Liang asked a male cleaner to put the box into safe keeping in case anyone looked for it, Si said.

Liang told coworkers not to open the box, Si said, but two colleagues found it contained jewelry and took some home. They have not been charged.


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