A Chinese researcher for The New York Times may appear in court as early as next week to appeal his conviction on a fraud charge, but his legal team is worried that it will be unable to call witnesses, submit evidence or provide him with adequate representation.
But the Beijing No. 2 People’s Intermediate Court convicted Mr. Zhao of a lesser, unrelated charge, accusing him of fraud at a time that predated his work at The Times, and sentenced him to three years in prison. He has already spent more than two years in detention and his release is currently scheduled for September 2007.
Mr. Zhao, who had maintained his innocence on both charges, appealed the fraud conviction on Sept. 4. He also reconfigured his legal team, keeping Mr. Guan but replacing his lead lawyer, Mo Shaoping, with a prominent defense lawyer, Zhang Sizhi. [Full Text]
– See CDT’s earlier posts on the case