[QODLink]
Archive
China jails NY Times staffer for fraud
A Chinese researcher for the New York Times has been sentenced to three years in prison on fraud charges in China, but was cleared of leaking state secrets.
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2006 04:09 GMT
The case has been criticised as an attempt to intimidate reporters
A Chinese researcher for the New York Times has been sentenced to three years in prison on fraud charges in China, but was cleared of leaking state secrets.

Despite Zhao Yan's imprisonment, his lawyer Guan Anping said on Friday: "This is a big victory. It's a victory for us and a victory for the legal system in China."

The maximum penalty for charges of leaking state secrets is death and even though that was considered highly unlikely, Zhao's defence team had said before the verdict that he could have been jailed for 10 years.

The court in Beijing ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to convict him on the state secrets charge.

The government did not release details of the charges.

Accurate report

Zhao, 44, was taken into police custody in September 2004 after the New York Times correctly reported that Jiang Zemin, the former president, was about to resign from his last official post as the head of the military.

At the time, Jiang's retirement was a closely guarded state secret, although it was widely expected.

Zhao was charged with leaking state secrets to the newspaper, which he and the New York Times always denied.

He had similarly maintained his innocence on the fraud charge, which was not related to the state secrets' accusation.

Zhao's case had caused a diplomatic row between China and the United States, with Washington repeatedly calling on Beijing to release him.

International human rights groups have also demanded his release and critics see it as an attempt by Chinese authorities to intimidate reporters.

Before joining The Times' Beijing bureau, Zhao was an investigative reporter for Chinese publications and wrote about complaints of official corruption and abuses in the countryside.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list