Chinese man receives payout for wrongful conviction

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Mr Huang received 825,000 yuan in compensation

A Chinese man who served 11 years after a wrongful conviction for fraud has been awarded a compensation payout of 825,000 yuan ($131,000, £81,400), his lawyer says.

Huang Liyi received the award from a Guangdong court, Yang Xuelin said.

The 39-year-old received compensation for loss of freedom, and emotional and psychological distress.

Mr Huang was arrested in 1999 and given a life sentence a year later. He was acquitted and released in 2010.

Mr Huang, who worked for a construction company, delivered cheques issued by his clients to various suppliers, said state-run Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper. The cheques bounced and so the suppliers sued him.

Mr Yang confirmed on Wednesday in his microblog that the Guangdong High Court had paid Huang Liyi his compensation.

State-run newspaper Global Times quoted a civil rights lawyer as saying that the sum was "one of the highest in the country".

A commentary in the Communist Party's Legal Daily newspaper called the court decision a "hard-won result".

Mr Huang's payout for loss of personal freedom, 665,889 yuan, was calculated based on the average daily wage for workers, the Southern Metropolis Daily said. The remaining amount was for psychological distress.

The Legal Daily commentary said that if Mr Huang was in other another province, he might not have received compensation for psychological distress.

Beijing rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan, who represents Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, told the BBC that what was significant about the case was that the amount of compensation for psychological distress was clearly set out.

"Compensation for mental distress should be far higher than the economic losses resulting from the lost freedom," he said, calling for a national standard to be set.

In recent years, there have been a number of wrongful conviction cases that have resulted in compensation.

Wang Zifa was awarded 890,000 yuan in a August 2010 settlement after being wrongfully convicted of murder in Guangxi.

In May of the same year Zhao Zuohai, jailed for murder, was given 650,000 yuan compensation after his supposed victim reappeared.