China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate is investigating a case in which a man was given a life sentence for killing a debt collector who sexually assaulted his mother, sparking claims of police negligence.
Yu Huan, 22, stabbed the leader of a loan sharking syndicate in Shandong province. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Yu’s mother, Su Yinxia, had taken out a 1.35 million yuan loan from estate company boss Wu Xue at an interest rate of 10 percent per month.
After paying off the principal, Su continued to be harassed by Wu and his people. They seized Su’s property worth 700,000 yuan and held mother and son in a factory.
The gang leader, Du Zhihao, cursed Su in public, burned a cigarette on her chest and forced her to smell her son’s shoes, according to a witness.
At one point, Du made Yu watch as he rubbed his genitals on his mother’s face.
Workers at the factory called the police but the officers left quickly after Du claimed it was personal money issue.
Yu stabbed Du with a knife and turned himself in to the police. Du was taken to Shandong hospital where he was pronounced dead from excessive bleeding.
The case went on trial on Dec. 15 last year at the Liaocheng Intermediate People’s Court.
The judge ruled that Yu had not been in a life-threatening situation despite being held down and dismissed his plea of self-defense.
On Feb. 17, Yu was sentenced to life in prison. The sentence is on appeal.
Over the weekend, Chinese media reported that Yu’s lawyer plans to sue local police for alleged “inaction” in handling the case.
Many netizens called for Yu’s release, saying Du deserved to die and that the judge had gone against humanity by punishing Yu.
The case has attracted more than 100 million comments on social media across the country, according to Qianjiang Evening News.
The Higher People’s Court of Shandong province said on its official Weibo account that it has accepted Yu’s appeal and has set up a panel to review the case.
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