Convicted Chinese Toll-Evader’s Brother Says He is Real Offender
VOA Breaking News (Voice of America)
January 16, 2011 at 11:15 am
Chinese officials say the brother of a man sentenced to life in prison for evading highway tolls has surrendered to police and confessed to the crime.
The official Xinhua news agency reported Sunday that Shi Junfeng turned himself into police late Saturday, claiming that he and not his older brother, Shi Jianfeng, had evaded the road fees.
Court officials in the central Henan province city of Pingdingshan had sentenced the elder Shi to life behind bars and a fine of more than $300,000 for using military license plates to avoid paying tolls on more than 2,300 trips between May 2008 and January 2009.
But the court said Friday that the older brother would get a new trial, because more evidence had emerged.
The verdict had prompted an outcry from Chinese Internet users, who flooded the web with postings. Many complained that suspects convicted of more serious crimes, like rape or murder, are given lesser sentences.
Court officials held a news conference early last week in an attempt to calm the public, but the court's explanation of the sentence did little to calm the clamor.
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