China drops charges against police in case of environmentalist's death in custody

By REUTERS
December 24, 2016 04:51

SHANGHAI - Chinese prosecutors have dropped charges against five police following the death of an environmentalist in custody in May, the official China Daily said on Saturday, a case that sparked public disquiet about China's law enforcement methods.

Lei Yang, 29, was arrested in a massage parlour as part of a police operation against prostitution and died hours later after choking on his own vomit.

While no charges will be pressed against the police officers, the Beijing People's Procuratorate accepted they used excessive force to arrest Lei, and ruled that their misconduct had a "direct causal relationship" with his death, the China Daily said.

The officers also failed to perform emergency lifesaving procedures or take Lei to hospital and obstructed an enquiry by falsifying evidence, but prosecutors ruled that their misdemeanours were "minor".

Four of the suspects had been released on bail, while a fifth remained in custody, the newspaper said. It cited Beijing police as saying that the five officers would be punished in accordance with regulations.


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