Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chinese court overturns verdict under public pressure

Beijing: China’s judicial authorities overturned their verdict against a farmer following an uproar in the media and the internet over what was seen as excessive punishment. The farmer, Shi Jianfeng, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for evading road toll taxes, now stands acquitted.

Shi’s story has all the twists of a Bollywood potboiler. Only two days ago, his younger brother emerged from the shadows claiming that it was he who had violated the law, and the older brother was wrongly charged. He admitted paying two million yuan (Rs 13.6 million) to someone who claimed to have the powers to have the older brother released from the police. Government prosecutors now say there was “lack of evidence and loopholes” in the initial prosecution of Shi.

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