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November 24, 2009

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Police stand trial over death of student suspect

SEVEN police officers in a northern China county allegedly responsible for the sudden death of a high school student during interrogation over a schoolmate's death are to stand trial today.

The People's Court of Shangnan County in Shaanxi Province will hear the case, the provincial capital Xi'an-based Chinese Business View reported yesterday.

The accused include Yan Yaofeng, former police director of Shaanxi's Danfeng County and the county's deputy chief, Wang Qingbao, the former discipline chief of Danfeng Public Security Bureau, and the bureau's chief detective Sun Peng.

All seven are expected to face charges of dereliction of duty, abuse of power and extorting a confession by torture while questioning grade 12 student Xu Gengrong from Danfeng Middle School early this year over the murder of a grade 11 female student at Xu's school.

Xu, 19, died on March 8. He had been taken in for questioning by police on February 28 as the chief suspect in the murder of Peng Lina.

Peng, also 19, was Xu's former girlfriend and was found dead on a river bank on February 10.

Xu's family claimed he had been beaten to death as there were bruises on his body and blood in his nose.

Ji Junying, chief procurator of the county's prosecutors office, said in a report that officers questioned Xu for long periods without a break from March 1 to March 8 and "a few police officers" had beaten him during the interrogation.

This, he said, had led to extreme exhaustion.


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