October 18, 2016 / 8:30 AM / 3 years ago

China jails officer in probe that led to execution of wrong man

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Tuesday jailed a senior police officer for 18 years, on charges of corruption and illegal possession of guns, after he led an investigation that resulted in a teenager being executed for a murder he did not commit.

In 2014, a court posthumously acquitted Huugjilt, an ethnic Mongol who used a single name, after he had been executed for raping and killing a woman in a public restroom, a miscarriage of justice which sparked widespread public anger in China.

Another man was later sentenced to death for the crime.

In February, state media said 27 people had been penalized over the wrongful conviction, most of them receiving administrative punishments.

However Feng Zhiming, former deputy head of police in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, and the head of the investigation that led to Huugjilt’s execution, was later criminally charged.

The court in the Inner Mongolian city of Hulunbuir found Feng guilty of taking 3.9 million yuan ($584,800) in bribes, engaging in real estate speculation and illegal possession of four guns.

The court made no direct mention of Huugjilt’s case, in a brief statement about the case carried on its microblog. Many ethnic Mongols in China go by a single name.

It was not possible to reach any of Feng’s relatives or lawyers for comment.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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