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January 9, 2010

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Moped rider seeks witnesses who saw old woman trick him

A YOUNG man in central China's Henan Province is seeking witnesses to help appeal a court ruling ordering him to pay 79,000 yuan (US$11,500) to a woman he said framed him after he helped her in a traffic accident.

Li Kaiqiang, 19, said he helped the elderly woman, surnamed Song, to get up after her bike bumped into the rear of his moped.

But Song grabbed him by the wrist and started to shout that Li had crashed into her and injured her back, yesterday's Zhengzhou Evening News reported.

"I only want to prove myself innocent," Li told the newspaper. He said the compensation would be a huge burden for his family.

The court's order stated: "The court could not determine who should be responsible for the accident." However, it ordered Li to pay the compensation based on "principle of justice."

The accident happened in August 2008 and witnesses at the scene told Li to leave Song alone because they suspected she was a swindler who deliberately crashed into others and faked injury to gain compensation, the newspaper said.

In a telephone interview, Song told the newspaper she had been bed-ridden for three months because of the accident and her back was still aching.

However, Li's lawyer said Song had shown the court medical test results issued by hospitals in Beijing and Shandong Province.

It was unlikely that a bed-ridden elderly woman could travel that far for medical tests, the lawyer said.

The court did not question the validity of the test results, he said.

Li told the newspaper he didn't have contact details of witnesses.

The former university student said the trial had distracted him from preparing for this year's government employees entrance examination and almost sabotaged his dream of becoming a police officer.

Li's story aroused public outrage after it was posted online.

It received more than 12,400 comments in less than four hours with almost 90 percent of them saying that the court order was "ridiculous."


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