First thing China, August 24
Keywords: Forced confessions, Yellow Sea, Cheng Dawei, Korea, Wal-Mart, Dalian, Pyramid schemes
Forced confession convictions in Zhao Zuohai case challenged in court
Two years since he was released from an 11-year prison sentence for a murder he didn't commit and awarded 650,000 yuan (HK$793,400) in compensation, Henan farmer Zhao Zuohai is back in court this week to seek further justice. Six police officers involved in the original investigation were convicted last year for torturing Zhao to extract the false confession used to prosecute him, and the group appeared before a judge Wednesday to appeal sentences ranging from exemption from punishment for one of the former officers to up to two years in prison.
Chinese boat captain ends appeal in Korean court of homicide conviction
Cheng Dawei, the fishing boat captain who was found guilty of killing a Korean coast guard officer and sentenced to 30 years in prison in April this year had a third and final day in court yesterday to appeal his conviction. Cheng, who has been held in police custody since December last year, is expected to receive a verdict on September 13. Prosecutors now seek the death penalty, while Cheng's lawyers argue he should be given a lesser sentence on a conviction of involuntary manslaughter.
Dalian court accused of fabricating evidence in decade-old rent default case
A decade-long dispute over 100 million yuan (HK$122 million) in unpaid rent between management of a shopping centre in Dalian and a Wal-Mart outlet, Yicai.com writes, took an unusual this week as the Dalian Wanlong Shopping Plaza accused the city's Intermediate People's Court of fabricating a document in which Wanlong agrees to withdraw its lawsuit. According to Yicai, Wanlong is now considering naming the Court a defendant in the case if it does not conduct a forensic analysis of the document. The document, first introduced in 2011, is dated December 4, 2006, two months after the same court ordered Wal-Mart to pay its overdue rent. Zhou Yuling, the Wanlong executive whose signature appears on the document, denies having ever signed such an agreement.
Mainland police release details of three massive pyramid schemes
Police in Shanghai yesterday revealed that a pyramid scheme operating in the city and throughout neighbouring Zhejiang province, involving more than 500 members and 18 million yuan (HK$21.97 million) in payments, has been shut down with more than 20 arrested. Also yesterday, police in Hunan told media that 10 people have been detained in connection with an online pyramid scheme worth more than 80 million yuan (HK$97.63 million) with over 20,000 members in 29 provinces and municipalities. The investigation into yet another online pyramid scheme, based in Chongqing and spread across 28 provinces and municipalities at a scale of 11.9 billion yuan (HK$14.523 billion) and 387,600 victims, has also recently been revealed by police, who say that civil servants figured strongly among participants.