Zhao Zuohai gains 120,000 yuan extra

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A farmer wrongly jailed for 11 years after being tortured into confessing to a murder will receive another 120,000 yuan (US$17,572) as compensation after he threatened to sue local government for his mental distress.

Court officials and police officers from Shangqiu City, Henan Province agreed to add 120,000 yuan to the original 650,000 yuan compensation for Zhao Zuohai, whose alleged victim turned up alive this month. The money would be paid out within a week, reported Oriental Morning Post today.

Zhao Zuohai received his main compensation payout last Thursday but said he regretted signing the deal after he woke up the next morning.

Zhao said court officials came to his home at 11pm last Thursday, lectured him for three hours, and finally made him to sign the contract at 2am when he was very confused, People's Daily reported.

After Zhao's conviction, his wife remarried, three of his four children were given up for adoption and his house collapsed. Zhao said he wanted to build a new house and to reunite with his children.

Zhao's brother Zhao Zhenju said the family is now satisfied with the new deal.

Police beat Zhao up every day for more than a month in 1999 to make him confess to the murder that he didn't commit. They forced him to sit on a beer bottle, exploded firecrackers on his head, gave him drugs and threatened to shoot him, earlier reports said.

Prosecutors in Henan have detained two police officers for allegedly torturing Zhao, and one is still at large, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Three judges were also put on leave and are being investigated over Zhao's case. They sent Zhao to death row with a two-year reprieve; the penalty was later commuted to 29 years in jail.

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