Family calls penalties for 27 officials involved in Huugjilt case 'too light'

By Kou Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-2 0:38:01

Accusations made after 27 punished for wrongdoing in Huugjilt case

Parents of a man who had been wrongfully executed for a crime he didn't commit expressed discontent with the punishment given to the 27 officials involved in their son's case, saying it was "too light."

Shang Aiyun, mother of Huugjilt, who was wrongfully executed in 1996, told the Global Times on Monday that she couldn't accept the result, urging for a "clear determination of legal responsibilities" of the involved officials.

"The punishment is too light and didn't make clear what kind of responsibilities the involved officials should take," Shang said.

Huugjilt, then 18-year-old, was declared guilty of raping and then murdering a woman in a public toilet in 1996. He was sentenced to death and was executed 61 days after the verdict was made.

In 2005, Zhao Zhihong, a serial killer from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, was caught and confessed to the crime. Huugjilt's parents have since called for their son's case to be reopened, with the help of lawyers and media.

On Sunday, 26 of the involved officials received administrative penalties including admonitions and record of demerit, among whom 11 were former police officers with the public security bureau of Hohhot in Inner Mongolia, and seven were former officials with the People's Procuratorate of Hohhot, authorities in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region said in a statement on Sunday night.

Feng Zhiming, a former deputy chief of the local public security bureau, was the only involved official who faces criminal charges for suspected job-related crimes.

"These people don't even have the courage to admit their mistakes and recognize their wrongdoing. How can they handle legal cases impartially in the future? Both the public and I need a clear explanation from the relevant departments," Shang noted.

The punishment has also drawn wide criticism from experts and the public.

"The officials' wrongdoing has caused a man's death. Administrative penalties are not severe enough. Delinquent officials should be investigated for legal responsibilities while their punishment should go through judicial procedures," Mo Shaoping, a human rights lawyer, told the Global Times.

However, some experts have argued that it's inappropriate to demand criminal punishment for the officials.

"As it's still unclear what kind of role did those officials play in Huugjilt's case, it would be irrational to call for criminal penalties for them without knowing their responsibilities," Hong Daode, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.

The wrong conviction of Huugjilt is one of the most notorious cases of judicial injustice in China in the recent decades. 

The retrial procedure for the case began in November 2014. Huugjilt was declared innocent by the High People's Court of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in December 2014. His parents were granted State compensation worth more than 2 million yuan ($319,946).


Newspaper headline: Penalties for officials ‘too light’: family

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