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ATM theft case sent back for retrial
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Guangdong Supreme Court has thrown back a high-profile case in which a man received a life sentence for deliberately withdrawing nearly 175,000 yuan (US$23,000) from a malfunctioning ATM machine, a newspaper reported today.

The Guangdong Supreme People's Court revoked the life sentence and other charges by the city's intermediate court because the case was "ambiguous and lacked evidence," the New Express said.

The Guangdong Intermediate People's Court will retry the case after a series of legal proceedings that will take at least one month, the report added.

Xu Ting, a 24-year-old migrant worker, may also be allowed to visit his family during the Spring Festival if his bail application is granted by the intermediate court.

Xu's lawyers, Yang Zhenping and Wu Yichun, as well as his father Xu Cailiang will be guarantors during the bail period, according to the report.

Xu Ting hasn't been home in more than two years after going to Guangzhou in 2005, the report cited his father as saying.

Xu Ting withdrew a large sum of money in 171 transactions in April 2006 after he found an ATM deducted only one yuan from his account for every 1,000 yuan withdrawn.

He fled with the money for nearly one year and had spent it by the time he was caught.

Another person, who withdrew 18,000 yuan after Xu Ting told the person about the malfunctioning machine, was jailed for one year after turning himself in.

Under criminal law, theft of more than 100,000 yuan from financial organizations carries a life sentence.

Xu Ting's life imprisonment stirred a nationwide debate.

Eight lawyers across the country proposed a revision of the law to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and also the Supreme People's Court after he was sentenced by the intermediate court.

(Shanghai Daily January 17, 2008)


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