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Judge charged over unjust verdict

A JUDGE in southwest China has been charged with delivering an unjust verdict which resulted in the death of a woman.

The prosecutors in Yumen City, Gansu Province, have lodged the charge, today's Lanzhou Morning Post reported.

A husband, surnamed Wang, filed a divorce lawsuit against his wife, surname Wei, early last year in the Taxian County Court. Unable to agree on a property settlement, the couple asked Judge Cui to assess their worth.

In the meantime Wang gave Cui 3,000 yuan (US$438.83 ) and Wei gave 1,000 yuan to attract a favorable decision. Wei and her family treated Cui to dinner five times.

But Cui finally favored Wang's "better performance."

He excluded a total of 110,000 yuan from their commonly shared properties, including 30,000 yuan in credit, 36,000 yuan from compensation for a traffic accident and 48,000 yuan in cash. He then deducted 20,000 yuan from the total sum of the common property.

All Wei received after the verdict was a few IOUs worth 14,783 yuan.

Cui asked a colleague who was not involved in the case to sign the verdict and handed it to the court's senior official for approval. One article was added later ordering Wang to pay 20,000 yuan to Wei.

Wei was angry and refused to accept the verdict when Cui read it to her at his office on May 26, 2008.

She tried to contact the people who had signed the IOUs later that day and ask them to pay the debts but they refused.

The next day the unhappy Wei drank a caustic poison and killed herself.

On September 11, Taxian County prosecutors arrested Cui.


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