Beijing: A Chinese court on Tuesday acquitted a man after 11 years in prison for the murder of a graduate school classmate, a media report said.

Citing insufficient evidence, the Xiangtan Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan province, overturned the guilty verdict against Zeng Aiyun, a former engineering student at Xiangtan University convicted in 2004 of murdering his classmate Zhou Yuheng, Xinhua news agency reported.

Zeng was sentenced to death three times by the same court. The Supreme People’s Court rejected the verdicts and ordered a retrial.

Chen Huazhang, also the victim’s classmate, was found to be the real killer. 

Chen poisoned Zhou on October 27, 2003 out of jealousy. Chen deliberately laid a false trail and imputed the murder to Zeng, who was in love with the victim’s ex-girlfriend.

Chen and Zeng were both arrested on November 11, 2003. Zeng was sentenced to death while Chen received life imprisonment.

Chen was sentenced again to life imprisonment on Tuesday and imposed a fine of 178,143 yuan ($29,108).

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