Chinese Defend Accused Police Killer

, accused of killing six policeman in , was recently tried and is expected to be sentenced to death. But his case has become a cause celebre among Chinese netizens who believe he was a victim of police abuse. From AP:

But the Chinese public surprised authorities, sympathizing with Yang Jia despite the violent attack and asking whether he was driven to his alleged crime by police abuse of power.

Concerns grew when a state media report said Yang tried but failed to sue Shanghai police for psychological damage he claimed to have suffered during an interrogation last year _ indicating the killings were in revenge.

Several Chinese papers have hinted that Yang was wronged and demanded a fair trial. But some say he didn’t get one, pointing out that his assigned lawyer works for the same government that oversees the police station where the officers were killed.

The Telegraph also reports:

The prosecution said Mr Yang had acted out of “revenge” after he was caught by police riding an unlicensed bicycle last October and interrogated. He later sued the Shanghai police for 10,000 yuan (£803) for psychological damage, but his claim was rejected.

Mr Yang is rumoured to have been badly beaten and maimed by police.

One blogger, Zi Bingyue, wrote: “Yang Jia is not bad. He has no previous criminal record. On the contrary, he has a strong sense of the law. He gave seats to older people on the bus and carried luggage for weak travellers.”

His father, Yang Fu, said his son must “have been greatly wronged” and added that he hoped Mr Yang’s almost inevitable death sentence would help spur the Chinese legal system to change in the future.

August 27, 2008 8:54 PM
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Categories: Law, Society