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Friday, May 20, 2016, 12:01

Case of man's death in police custody delivered to prosecutors in Beijing

By Cao Yin

Beijing's top procuratorate said on Thursday that the case of a 29-year-old man who died after being taken into police custody earlier this month has been delivered to the prosecuting authority in Changping district, where the death occurred.

Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate said it had accepted a criminal report from the family of Lei Yang on Tuesday, in which they were requested to investigate the district's police officers and auxiliary officers involved in the case.

"We've reviewed the report and related materials provided by the family, but decided to hand the case to the district's prosecutors because they have done some preliminary investigations," a statement from the city's procuratorate said.

The Beijng Public Security Bureau also said on Thursday that it will respect any investigation and will not shield any police officers if misconduct is found.

Lei died on May 7 about an hour after he was detained on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. The case prompted a public outcry.

Lei's wife, surnamed Wu, said: "I am not satisfied with the prosecutors' response. I'll negotiate with my lawyer for the case's follow-up procedures."

The lawyer, Chen Youxi, welcomed the close attention and quick response of the city's procuratorate, but said that he does not think the case is suitable for the district's prosecutors to tackle.

"Public security bodies and prosecutors in the same jurisdiction are too familiar with each other, so it is more proper for the prosecutors at the city level to deal with Lei's case," Chen said.

In the report, the family accused police officers and assistants in the district of intentional injury, abuse of power and fabricating evidence, he said, adding that they hope to find out the truth as quickly as possible.

In previous statements, Beijing police said Lei was uncooperative when he was stopped by plainclothes officers at a foot massage salon at 9:14 pm on May 7.

He resisted arrest, bit the police and knocked down their video cameras, and he tried to escape and was later handcuffed, the police said.

Lei was taken to a hospital at 10:05 pm after he looked unwell in the police car, and was pronounced dead at 10:55 pm after efforts were made to save him.

Results of an independent autopsy, conducted on May 13, are expected to be released within 15 to 20 days of the examination.

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