Convicted embezzler He Keliang spent 13 years hiding at home instead of serving a jail sentence after he was forgotten by China's law enforcement bodies, the Shanghai Youth Daily said Tuesday.
In 1986, 61-year-old He Keliang was sentenced to 13 years' in prison for embezzlement when he was chief accountant of an agricultural machinery company in Xinxiang County, in the central province of Henan.
Since He was afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease the law enforcement officers sent the verdict to his home and promptly forgot about the hapless criminal, the paper said.
When no police officer appeared to detain him He sent his daughter to ask the court where he should go to serve the sentence but she was told that repeated visits to the court would not benefit He.
So He stayed at home and kept a low profile for 13 years and the mix-up was only discovered after He went down to the local police station to re-register his citizenship after the sentence was up, the paper said.
Citizenship rights are cancelled when a criminal is sentenced to jail in China.
Neither the prosecutor's office, nor the local court nor the jail will take responsibility for the mistake.
He feels he has already served his 13-year sentence at home and so refuses to serve the term again. He is even considering suing the local authorities for their mistake, the paper said -- SHANGHAI (AFP)
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