China's top court overturns conviction of supermarket tycoon for embezzlement

China's top court on Thursday overturned conviction of Zhang Wenzhong, former chairman of Wumei Holdings Group, parent of retail chain Wumart Stores, for insufficient evidence and wrongful law applications, after a retrial.

The Supreme People's Court said Zhang would be given right to apply for State compensation.

In 2009, Zhang was sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud, embezzlement and a bribery-related crime in a final ruling by Hebei High People's Court.

Then, Zhang first petitioned the court but his appeal was rejected in December 2015.

He appealed to the Supreme People's Court in October 2016, and the top court reheard the case in February last year.

Zhang's case is one of three major property rights-related cases that the top court decided to retry at the end of 2017.

Announcing the decision, the highest justice authority said in a statement that courts around the country need to strictly distinguish between economic disputes and economic crimes, as well as to clarify the boundary between financing and illegal fundraising.

It also added courts should better define what kinds of behaviors from private enterprises can be categorized as embezzlement of State assets.

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