China punishes 27 officials over wrongful execution

China penalises 27 officials for wrongful execution of teenager in 1996

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The judge of the higher people's court delivers retrial files to Hugjiltu's parents, in Hohhot, northern China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region on December 15, 2014

China penalized twenty-seven officials for the wrongful execution of Hugjiltu who was sentenced to death for the rape of a women, in 1996, state news agency Xinhua reported Sunday.

Hugjiltu was sentenced and put to death for the rape and murder of a women in the toilet of a textile factory in Hohhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, in 1996 when he was 18 years old.

In 2014, Zhao Zhihong, another man, confessed the crime and was sentenced to death. Hugjiltu was finally exonerated after 18 years.

China uses force to extract confessions widespreadly, in most cases defendants do not have effective defence in criminal trials which leads to miscarriages of justice.

"One of the blacklisted officials responsible for the wrongful conviction of Huugjiltu, Feng Zhiming, was suspected of job-related crimes and was subject to further investigation," Xinhua reported authorities as saying in a statement.

He added that, Feng who is a former deputy chief with the public security bureau in Hohhot, could face prosecution.

The other 26, who are police officials and court officials, "received administrative penalties including admonitions and record of demerit", Xinhua said.

According to officials statistics, 99.93% of defendants in criminal cases were found guilty under the communist controlled legal system and acquittals are extremely rare.