Chinese Justice

For the record from AP,

Court frees waitress who stabbed Chinese official

BEIJING (AP) — A court in central China has freed a karaoke bar waitress who fatally stabbed a Communist Party official, saying she acted in self-defense against the man who allegedly cornered her in a hotel spa and demanded sex, state-run media said Tuesday.

The young defendant has been popularly portrayed as a folk hero who lashed out against injustice.

The Datong County People’s Court exempted Deng Yujiao, 21, from punishment for the crime of intentional injury because she was acting in self-defense, the official People’s Daily newspaper said in a brief report on its Web site.

The report said the court ruled that Deng had limited criminal responsibility and also took into account that she turned herself in to the police after using a fruit knife to stab 43-year-old Deng Guida, who later died.

No further details were provided. Calls to the court and her lawyer rang unanswered.

Songs and poems praising the woman have been posted online, while coverage of her case in the entirely state-controlled media has been unusually sympathetic.

Her popularity reflects widespread anger in China over abuse of power by communist cadres, officials and the security forces. A similar public outpouring of sympathy followed the case of a man who confessed to killing six Shanghai police officers last year in revenge for torture he allegedly suffered while being interrogated about a possibly stolen bike.

Chinese media reported that Deng Guida found the waitress in the laundry room of a bathhouse a few floors below the bar where she worked and demanded sex. When she refused, he allegedly forced her down on a couch and blocked her from leaving. She attacked him with a fruit knife she had in her bag, the report said.

Police said she also attacked his colleague, Huang Dezhi, at the hotel in Badong in the central province of Hubei.

Deng Guida, who ran a local government office for business promotion, is not related to the waitress.

Xinhua News Agency reported last month that Huang and another government official who was also at the spa on the night of the stabbing were fired amid investigations, while police shut the spa and were questioning its owners. Huang has also been detained, the report said.

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