Two Chinese acquitted of rape after 10 years in jail

Beijing, May 20 (IANS) A court in China will compensate two men after they were acquitted of rape charges that led to their wrongful imprisonment for 10 years.

The court in Zhejiang decided to give Zhang Hui and and his uncle Zhang Gaoping 1.11 million yuan (around $179,000) each to compensate them for depriving them of their personal freedom, as well as for causing mental damage, Xinhua reported.

Zhang Hui was given a death sentence and Zhang Gaoping was sentenced to life in prison by a court in April 2004 for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl.

The court’s judgment was later changed to a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for Zhang Gaoping and a 15-year prison term for his nephew in a second trial conducted by the Zhejiang court.

The two men had given a free ride to the 17-year-old girl on the night of May 18, 2003, when they were transporting freight to Shanghai.

They dropped the girl off in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, after midnight and continued on their way to Shanghai. The girl’s naked body was discovered later that day.

The two men became the principal suspects and were detained, as they were the last people to have seen the girl alive.

They were freed by the Zhejiang court, as there was new evidence that showed the possibility of another suspect and evidence presented during the previous trial was not enough to support the conviction.

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