Beijing police not prosecuted in death in custody case

Prosecutors say police action in case in which man choked to death in custody amounted to negligence, but drop charges

Beijing police not prosecuted in death in custody case

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Beijing prosecutors have announced that charges have been dropped against five police personnel over the death in custody of an environmentalist in a case that sparked debates about alleged police abuses of power.

State news agency Xinhua reported Saturday that the Fengtai District People's Procuratorate found that the five personnel committed “improper acts” in their duty that led to the death by choking of the 29-year-old environmental scientist, Lei Yang, in May.

It said the police action amounted to negligence, but they would not be prosecuted since Lei had resisted arrest on the night of May 7, the five pleaded guilty to criminal action described as “minor”, and they were operating under a “special campaign”.

While police had claimed Lei died of a heart attack, the Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate’s No 4 Branch later said an autopsy showed he had suffocated on his gastric fluid.

After Lei’s death, his wife cast doubt in online posts on the results of a police investigation into the incident and his family and former university classmates called for an independent autopsy.

The Fengtai District People's Procuratorate said Friday that it advised discipline organs to deal “seriously” with the five police personnel, who it said deliberately made up facts and obstructed the ensuing investigation.

The state-run China Daily cited a Beijing police statement released later Friday as saying that the officers would be panelized in accordance with regulations.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Aralık 2016, 13:34