Chinese mother "thrilled" as court begins reviewing son's case

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-12-14 9:22:56

For the past nine years, Zhang Huanzhi's life was filled with regret, pain and sadness. But a recent court decision has finally soothed her torment, at least to some extent.

Zhang's son, Nie Shubin, was executed 19 years ago on charges of raping and murdering a woman in Hebei's provincial capital, Shijiazhuang. In 2005, the case generated headlines again after another man confessed to the rape and murder of the same woman in Nie's case.

Since 2005, Zhang, already in her 70s, has visited Hebei Higher People's Court countless times, demanding a review of the case in order to prove innocence of her son.

"I have so much regret because I did not even get to see my son before he was executed," Zhang said. "The only thing I could do was try to prove his innocence to ease my pain."

Zhang said she was relieved when the Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Friday appointed Shandong Higher People's Court to review the rape-murder case involving Nie Shubin .

"I am more than thrilled," a tearful Zhang told Xinhua. "The decision is a reflection that judicial system is improving."

Liu Bojin, a lawyer with Beijing Boshen Law Firm, has signed a contract with Zhang on Saturday and will act on her behalf to look through related files and help her and the public who demand the truth.

The high-profile case is heatedly discussed on microblog site, with many voicing support for Zhang and the court's decision.

"I hope that the review of the case will bring us justice and comfort the soul of my lost child," Zhang said.

Wang Shujin, 47, was apprehended by police in 2005 for three unconnected rape and murder cases, and confessed to the rape and murder of the same woman in Nie's case.

Wang, sentenced to death in March 2007, claimed that he raped and murdered a woman in a cornfield on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang in 1994 and Nie was innocent. Hebei Higher People's Court, which approved the death penalty on Nie in 1995, did not believe his claim in a retrial last year and Nie's verdict still stands.

Wang's claims have raised public questions of judicial impartiality.

The review of Nie's case is aimed at "ensuring judicial fairness and responding to public concerns," according to the SPC's announcement on Friday.

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