12 years of long marathon to the end. Yesterday (December 3) at 11 a.m., Li Jiangong, who had received a reprieve of death, was acquitted by the intermediate peoples Court of the second division of the Xinjiang production and Construction Corps.
Li Jiangong, 51, has changed a lot. His sister said that when he had dinner with his family last night, he didnt talk much or smile. When walking, also often low head, no spirit, like 60 years old man.
After 12 years of grievances, the truth finally came out, and my brother was free. My sister sent a circle of friends and took four photos. In the photo, Li Jiangongs expression is impassive, unable to see whether he is happy or sad.
In an interview with a reporter from the Beijing News, he mentioned that the previous life trajectory, because of this unprovoked disaster, has completely changed. After that, he will bring state compensation and demand that the relevant investigators be held criminally responsible.
u25b2 on December 3, 2019, Li Jiangong (left) and Lawyer Wang Zhihua came out of the court. Picture provided by interviewee
Corpse in toilet
Back at 11:00 on December 3, 2007, Cui Xianghai and Wang Jianghai, residents of Xinjiang Korla cement plant, found a body in the cesspit when they dug out dung in the toilet near the residential area.
After receiving the police, the criminal police in the area rushed to the scene and salvaged the body from the toilet cesspool. After identification, the dead was Cao Juying (female, 75 years old), a retired worker of the cement plant. According to the forensic examination at the scene of the Public Security Bureau of the second agricultural division, the head of the dead was bruised by blunt force, which was sealed with tape and suffocated. Police believe that this is a case of an acquaintance committing a crime, killing people nearby and throwing corpses nearby.
In order to find the killing tools and the belongings carried by the deceased, the investigators searched the home of the deceased and emptied the manure in the cesspool, but found nothing. Subsequently, the investigators investigated the people related to the dead.
Six days later, Li Jiangong, the victims neighbor, was locked up as a suspect. In response, Wang Zhihua, Lis defense lawyer, said that the time of Cao Juyings death was considered on the afternoon of December 1, 2007. When the police found Li Jiangong, no one could prove his itinerary that day. Moreover, when Li Jiangong was questioned, he forgot the fact that he unloaded the sunflower pole near his home on the afternoon of December 1. Police suspected that Li had clashed with Cao Juying and killed her while unloading the flower stalks. On December 9, 2008, Li was detained in criminal detention and arrested on December 23 of the same year.
According to the indictment, at about 16:00 on December 1, 2007, Li Jiangong quarreled with Cao Juying, knocked him out with a wooden stick, then suffocated him and threw him into a cesspit. The original first trial showed that Li had no objection to the charges of intentional homicide and the facts of the crime, and asked for leniency.
On July 9, 2008, the middle court of the second division of Xinjiang production and Construction Corps sentenced Li Jiangong to death with a reprieve for intentional homicide. On November 7, 2008, the Xinjiang High Court made a ruling to maintain the original judgment.
u25b2 Li Jiangong before going to prison. Picture provided by interviewee
Years of pleading acquitted
After serving his sentence in prison, Li began to complain, insisting that he had not killed anyone.
On May 27, 2016, Lawyer Wang Zhihua accepted the entrustment of Li Cuihong, Li Jiangongs younger sister, to provide complaint agency service for Li Jiangong free of charge.
After reading the papers, Wang found that the case was full of doubts. There is no tool to commit the crime, no objective evidence to lock Li Jiangongs murder. Even the tape sealed on the nose of the victim has not detected Li Jiangongs fingerprint. Wang told the Beijing News.
Wang Zhihua mentioned that the description on the search and inspection of the tools used in Li Jiangongs homicide issued by the Criminal Police Brigade of Korla Public Security Bureau mentioned that the police had not found the tools and the remains of the victims according to Lis confession. This shows that there is not even a physical evidence that can be used as a circumstantial evidence in this case. Wang said.
In addition, the time, place and details of the death of the deceased are questionable. The time of death of Cao Juying is considered to be about 48 hours before autopsy, and the time of death is considered to be between 14:00 and 16:00 on December 1, 2007. However, in 2017, the Beijing Mingjian Institute of forensic medicine demonstrated again the time of Cao Juyings death. According to the previous forensic certificate, five experts, including Zhuang Hongsheng, the former chief forensic physician of the Supreme Peoples Procuratorate, analyzed the common indicators such as corneal turbidity, necropsy, rigor mortis and corpse green, and thought that the death time of Cao Juying could occur about 24 hours before the autopsy. According to Wang, if the time of death is not accurate, the case cannot be established.
On December 6, 2018, the Xinjiang High Court held that the evidence of the case was not accurate and sufficient, and revoked the original judgment, and sent it back to the second division of the Xinjiang production and Construction Corps for retrial.
On November 24, 2019, the case was reopened in the middle court of the second division of Xinjiang production and Construction Corps. In the court, Li Jiangongs 19 guilty confessions were all confirmed as illegal evidence collection in court and excluded. In this way, there is no evidence pointing to Li Jiangong in the whole case. On November 25, a reporter from the Beijing news confirmed the incident from a person who participated in the audience.
Li, who has been in prison for nearly 12 years, was acquitted and released in court yesterday.
u25b2 retrial verdict. Picture provided by interviewee
Dialogue with Li Jiangong: confession is not my intention
After 12 years in prison, Li Jiangong was not too happy to be acquitted. I failed to fulfill my familys responsibilities and obligations due to this disaster without any reason. After the death sentence was handed down, my wife divorced me.
Confession of guilt is not intended
Beijing News: what was it like when you were arrested?
Li Jiangong: I remember that at about 3pm that day, after I bought flour and oil from the vegetable market, I just walked to the door. Four policemen stopped me and said they would take me to the police station. At that time, I was working in a cotton mill. I had to catch up with the night shift at 6 p.m. So I was worried that I was too late. So I asked what happened. As a result, the police rushed over and took me to the police car. When I asked them why, they asked, dont you know?
The police car drove all the way to the police station. My body was under control and I was very confused. Later, they said I killed Cao Juying.
Beijing News: do you know Cao Juying?
Li Jiangong: we are neighbors, not far apart. At that time, the old lady lived alone, her wife died early, and her sons worked outside. Our neighborhood is very harmonious. She is very polite to us. We have never quarreled. In fact, I go to work every day, go out early and come back late. I seldom see her.
Beijing News: whats your opinion on accusing you of killing people?
Li Jiangong: I havent done it. I always told them that I didnt do it. But the police think its me. I say there are so many of them. Theres no way. At that time, the neighbors all said, its not built on merit.. Among them, there was an old man who was aggrieved for me and was directly ill with Qi.
All my relatives were interrogated one by one, and my 14-year-old daughter was questioned, but she firmly believed that I would not kill. My daughters and I had a very good relationship. When they came to see me in prison, they cried and stuck to me. I used to go to school by bike. When they were caught, they cried and asked my wife not to send them. They wanted dad.
Beijing News: Why did you later make a confession of guilt?
Li Jiangong: This is not my intention. (Note: at the retrial session, all 19 Confessions of Li Jiangong were confirmed as illegal evidence in court and excluded)
Beijing News: how was your family at that time?
Li Jiangong: my wife and two daughters live happily. At that time, his wife also worked in a cotton mill. His older daughter was just 14 years old, and his younger daughter was 4 years old. Our family of four has a monthly income of about 2000 yuan. They dont worry about food and clothing.
After I was arrested, my wife made money as she pulled her children to grow up. Thats when they need me most to earn money to support their family. Because of this disaster without any reason, I didnt fulfill my familys responsibilities and obligations. I was very painful. Later, after the death sentence was issued, my wife and I divorced.
I tore up the verdict and threw it in the toilet
Beijing News: the first trial is suspended. What do you think?
Li Jiangong: suffering and despair. I dont understand why I thought it was me. I dont want to live without the support of my father, my mother and my sister. When I saw the verdict, I was so angry that I tore it up and threw it in the toilet.
Im semi illiterate. I didnt graduate from primary school. I didnt recognize a few words. I spent a long time writing a letter of complaint, but no one sent it for me. Later, when the family met, I gave it to my sister, who sent it to the supreme law petition office.
Beijing News: have you ever given up when appealing?
Li Jiangong: never give up. I even thought, no matter how many years, after serving the sentence, I will continue to complain until I get the innocence. When I first met my family in prison, I told them I didnt kill them. My father and mother sold their land and house for me, and they lost their money and ran for it. The elder sister pays for it, and the younger sister is responsible for running the complaint. At first, my family hired several lawyers for me, but in the middle they all gave up on me. Later, I asked Lawyer Wang, who has been insisting on appealing for me. I especially thank my family and lawyer.
Beijing News: whats life like in prison?
Li Jiangong: get up at 8 oclock in the morning and start to work after simple washing. Generally speaking, listening to arrangements is mostly manual work. Im chipping peppers every day, more than 20kg for small peppers, 15kg for big peppers, and some people make wigs. Usually, I leave work at 5pm. In the past, we were also asked to plant land. Later, we were afraid of running away, so we were not allowed to go out.
We are allowed to watch TV several times a week, but I am not interested. After work, I just sit on the sofa and think about my own business. I cant let go. I keep thinking. Im wronged. I dont like to talk about my case or ask about it. I dont think its useful. I cant help him, and he cant help me. Once I said I was wronged, others said I was nonsense.
In prison, my health is not good. Legs hurt, hands cant straighten, eyes look like a layer of glass. I go to the prison doctor regularly to get the medicine, but its not good until now.
Beijing News: have you ever reduced your sentence in prison?
Li Jiangong: the sentence has been reduced four times: death reprieve, indefinite period, fixed period and finally reduced to 19 years and 2 months. If you do well, you can get a commutation. I worked hard and didnt quarrel with people, so I cut it a lot.
12 years ago, mobile phone dialing was still on the button
Beijing News: when the retrial is acquitted, what is your mood?
Li Jiangong: happy and excited. Im finally reunited with my family. Now my parents are not very well. They expect me to go home every day. In the past 12 years, my biggest wish is to go home early and get together with them.
Beijing News: whats the change in family?
Li Jiangong: my parents are too old and thin to look like. They used to be in good health. From the day of the retrial, my father lay on the balcony every day to see if I had come back. My two younger sisters are also old. They work during the day and study my case at night. As the eldest son, I am not filial to the elderly at home, raising children, and I am ashamed of them all my life.
Beijing News: is it still not suitable for the outside society?
Li Jiangong: Yes, the world is changing so fast. I cant use my cell phone. 12 years ago, the mobile phone dial or the button, now I do not know how to call. The streets outside have changed a lot. I cant find the places I used to remember, and the houses have been demolished a lot. After coming out, I took a bath, had a reunion dinner with my relatives, and went to the prison to apply for a release certificate with the help of a lawyer.
Im really free, but I dont have a home now, nothing. How wonderful my life used to be, now its all gone. When I came back from prison, I lived in my sisters house and wanted to find a place to cry.
Beijing News: now the retrial has been changed to acquittal. What are your plans in the future?
Li Jiangong: not yet. In the future, we will file a state compensation claim to investigate the criminal responsibility of the relevant investigators.