Chinese teenager found innocent 18 years after execution
A Chinese court has found a man not guilty of the 1996 rape and murder of a woman after a retrial – more than 18 years after he was found guilty and executed, reports South China Morning Post.
Inner Mongolia's High Court ruled today that Huugjilt, who was 18 at the time of his execution, was innocent of the crimes, and apologised to his weeping parents. Another man had admitted to the crimes in 2005.
Xinhua, the state-run news agency, reported that Huugjilt had gone to try to help the victim after hearing someone cry out in a public toilet in Hohhot as he and his friend, Yan Feng, had walked past.
Yan told Xinhua that they had found a woman's body inside the toilet, and Huugjilt had gone to report the crime to police - despite him urging his friend to stay silent.
Zhao Jianping, deputy president of the high court, told Huugjilt’s tearful parents: “We learnt a heart-breaking lesson in this case; we are sorry.”
He also presented 30,000 yuan (about HK$38,000) to the parents as an expression of the court’s sympathy.
Huugjilt was found guilty of raping and murdering the woman in the public toilet in Hohhot on April 9, 1996. He was sentenced to death after being convicted of the crime and executed in June 1996.
However, an alleged serial rapist and killer, Zhao Zhihong, confessed to police that he had carried out the rape and murder of the woman after being arrested in 2005. But Huugjilt’s retrial was held only in November.
Miao Li, the lawyer representing Huugjilt, told reporters packed into the home of Huugjilt’s parents, that she would help the family to seek compensation from the government.
In a similar case, Nie Shubin, aged 21, from China’s northern province of Hebei, was executed in 1995 for the 1994 rape and murder of a woman in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.
Another man, Wang Shujin was caught by police in 2005 for three unconnected rape and murder cases, and confessed to the earlier rape and murder of the woman in Shijiazhuang.
However, in this matter, the province’s higher court did not believe Wang’s claim during a retrial of Nie’s case held last year and Nie’s guilty verdict still stands.
Also last year, a man in the eastern province of Anhui was found not guilty after serving 17 years of a life sentence for the killing of his wife.