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Vindication Arrives 20 Years Late for ‘Five Zhous’ Convicted of Murder

Zhou Zaichun, second from right, is overwhelmed with emotion on Wednesday after courts declared him and four other men not guilty of a 1996 murder for which they had already served years in prison. Photo: Xiao Hui/Caixin
Zhou Zaichun, second from right, is overwhelmed with emotion on Wednesday after courts declared him and four other men not guilty of a 1996 murder for which they had already served years in prison. Photo: Xiao Hui/Caixin

*Court says village men’s conviction was based on insufficient evidence, shaky testimony

*One man, imprisoned for 21 years, wants the police officers he alleges tortured him to be held accountable

Five men convicted of murder nearly 20 years ago had their convictions overturned on Wednesday by a court in East China’s Anhui province.

Zhou Jikun, Zhou Jiahua, Zhou Zaichun, Zhou Zhengguo and Zhou Zaihua — whose shared surname caused the public to term their sensational trial in the late 1990s the “Case of the Five Zhous” — have been cleared of charges that they attacked a village family, killing one member, in 1996, the court said in a statement.

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