Exonerated man seeks 22m yuan in compensation

Updated: 2020-09-03

  Zhang Yuhuan, a man from Jiangxi province who had his name cleared in August after 27 years of wrongful detention, applied for state compensation of 22.34 million yuan ($3.3 million) on Wednesday.

  The application, which has been submitted to the Jiangxi High People's Court, seeks 10.17 million yuan for Zhang's wrongful detention, 10.17 million yuan for mental anguish, 1 million yuan for his following medical treatment and 1 million yuan for expenses related to his appeal, according to Zhang's lawyer Cheng Guangxin.

  Under the national standard, a person who is wrongfully detained is eligible to receive 346.75 yuan for every day of freedom lost.

  Cheng, however, said this is not enough for his client.

  "My client's freedom had been harmed every minute since he was wrongly detained, so the compensation for the wrongful detention, I think, should be triple" what a normal wrongful detainee would receive, Cheng said.

  In the application, Zhang said nobody would trade 27 years of freedom for just 5 million or 10 million yuan.

  "If the compensation is too low, it will not show justice, ease mental damage caused by the wrongful detention nor prevent wrongful conviction," he noted.

  Zhang is seeking a combined 2 million yuan for medical and appellate expenses because the long-term wrongful detention caused injuries to his feet, legs and hands and led to his family members spending a lot money helping him appeal, Cheng explained.

  In the application, Zhang also demanded the high court publicly apologize, restore his reputation and eliminate the ill effects caused by the wrongful conviction, Cheng added.

  On Aug 4, the high court overturned the original ruling in which Zhang was given a suspended death sentence for intentional homicide and found the 52-year-old not guilty because the chain of evidence in his case was incomplete and not strong enough to prove his conviction.

  Zhang was freed that day and returned home.

  Zhang, a villager from Jinxian county in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi, reportedly had been the longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate in the country at the time of his release.

  His case dates back to 1993, when the bodies of two boys were found in a reservoir in a village in Jinxian. Zhang was identified as the suspect in their deaths and detained a few days later.

  In January 1995, the Nanchang Intermediate People's Court sentenced Zhang, who was a neighbor of the two victims, to death with a two-year reprieve for the crime of intentional homicide, meaning his sentence would be commuted to life imprisonment if he did not commit any new offenses during the two-year period.

  Zhang disagreed with the ruling and appealed to a higher court, saying he was tortured by police during interrogation.

  Two months later, the high court returned the case to the lower court, ordering it to retry the case due to insufficient evidence.

  But the retrial was not opened until November 2001, and the intermediate court upheld the original verdict.

  Zhang appealed to the high court again, but this time his appeal was rejected.

  After frequent appeals from Zhang and his family members, the high court reheard the case on July 9.

  Source: China Daily

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