06/17/2005, 00.00
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Woman allegedly "murdered" reappears after "killer" executed

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A Chinese woman believed to be killed in the 1980s reappears 16 years after the alleged killer was executed, urging judicial authorities to rectify the case.

Shi Xiaorong, declared by police a "murder victim" in a April 1987 case in Mayang county in central Hunan Province, said she was actually swindled and sold to east Shandong Province as somebody's wife in March that year, one month before a dismembered body was found in a Mayang river and claimed by local police the body of "disappeared Shi".

Butcher Teng Xingshan was convicted of the murder as the police said the dismemberment technique was "very professional" and executed in 1989 despite pleas of innocence. According to police investigation material, Teng was believed to have sexual relations with Shi and killed Shi he suspected of stealing his money. But Shi, who is now in a Guizhou jail for drug trafficking, said she and Teng did not know each other, urging the Human judiciary to declare the trial a miscarriage of trial.

She returned to her hometown in Hunan's neighboring Guizhou Province in 1993 and Teng's relatives was told she was still alive one year later. But it took them years to verify the information and they did not have the funds and the courage to sue the judiciary until last month Teng's daughter and son lodge a lawsuit before the Hunan Higher People's court.

The 1989 verdict of the court reads that "Teng confessed his crime on his initiative and his confession conforms with scientific inspection and identification". Whether torture was used to force conviction is still unknown.

The case comes just two months after a man who served 11 years in prison for murdering his wife was declared innocent, two weeks after the victim reappeared in their hometown in central Hubei Province. Former security guard She Xianglin claimed he was deprived of sleep during 10 days of interrogation until he signed documents pleading guilty to murder. He is now suing the government for compensation over his mistrial and torture during interrogation.

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