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Chinese man acquitted of murder after 11 years in prison


Beijing: A Chinese national walked free today after a court overturned his conviction in the murder of a graduate school classmate, for which he spent 11 years in prison.

Citing insufficient evidence, the Xiangtan Intermediate People’s Court in central China’s Hunan Province, overturned the guilty verdict against Zeng Aiyun, a former graduate student of engineering at Xiangtan University, convicted in 2004 of murdering his classmate Zhou Yuheng.

Zeng had been sentenced to death three times by the same court.

The Supreme People’s Court rejected the verdicts and ordered a retrial, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Chen Huazhang, also the victim’s classmate, was found to be the real killer.

Chen poisoned Zhou with diazepam on October 27, 2003 as he was jealous of the attention Zhou enjoyed from their mentor.

Chen deliberately laid a false trail and imputed the murder to Zeng, who was in love with the victim’s ex-girlfriend.

Chen and Zeng were both arrested in November, 2003.

Zeng was sentenced to death while Chen received life imprisonment.

Chen was sentenced again to life imprisonment today and fined 178,143 yuan (USD 29,108) as compensation to the victim’s family.

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