China probes death of man held in police custody

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Five Beijing police officers involved in a high-profile case in which a 29-year-old man died after being taken into custody last month have been placed under investigation, prosecutors in Beijing said on Wednesday (June 1).

The capital's main prosecutors' office posted a statement on its Sina Weibo account on Wednesday, saying the prosecuting body in Changping district had filed a case and conducted an investigation into the police officers.

The man, 29-year-old Lei Yang, died on May 7 about an hour after he was detained on suspicion of soliciting prostitution.

Beijing Public Security Bureau said in a previous statement that Lei was uncooperative when he was stopped by plainclothes officers at a foot massage salon at 9.14 pm.

According to the statement, Lei resisted arrest, bit a police officer, knocked a video camera over and attempted to escape before being handcuffed.

He was taken to a hospital at 10.05 pm and was pronounced dead about 50 minutes later.

On May 19, the municipal top prosecuting authority delivered the case to the district's prosecuting body after Lei's wife, surnamed Wu, applied for prosecutors to investigate the police officers and auxiliary officers involved in the incident.

In its previous statement, the public security bureau said it would respect any investigation and would not attempt to shield any officers if misconduct was uncovered.