Conviction Voided, Judges Fired in Chinese Toll Case
VOA Breaking News (Voice of America)
January 18, 2011 at 9:40 am
China's state media says a high court in Henan province has overturned the life sentence given to a farmer for evading tolls and has announced stiff disciplinary measures against the judges responsible.
The state-run Global Times newspaper said two judges have been dismissed from their posts for “neglect of duty” and the vice president of the court has been suspended. The court also ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction.
The harsh sentence, which was announced last week, prompted a storm of protest on the Internet. Farmer Shi Jianfeng had been sentenced to life in prison for using fake military license plates on two of his trucks in order to evade tolls on a local highway.
Following the sentencing, Shi's brother Shi Junfeng came forward to say that he was the one who evaded the tolls.
Outraged Internet users objected not only to the severity of the sentence, but also to the exorbitant tolls. Global Times said Shi made more than 2,000 trips on the highway over a nine-month period, avoiding tolls of more than $550,000.
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