China jails fugitive millionaire for 15 years

Last Updated: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 00:06

Beijing: A Chinese millionaire who fled the
country in 2004 to escape fraud charges was sentenced to 15
years in jail on Saturday, his lawyer said.

Zeng Hanlin, 66, spent seven years in Canada, but was
deported in March after authorities there dismissed concerns
he would be tortured or executed if he returned to China.
He was tried and convicted of fraud in November over a
stock scheme linked to a failed business merger.

Zeng`s lawyer Yang Zhaodong said his client now had
10 days to lodge an appeal after a court in the southwestern
city of Chengdu sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

"Zeng was thinking of an appeal, but hasn`t made the
final decision," Yang said.

Canada, which does not use capital punishment, bans the
return of prisoners to countries where they might be put to
death.

Last year, Canada deported alleged Chinese smuggling
kingpin Lai Changxing after a 12-year legal battle when
Beijing issued an unusual promise not to execute him if he was
found guilty.

Zeng`s son, Sam Zeng, said his father was "100 percent
innocent", calling his trial a "fraud", and pledged to raise
the issue during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper`s
visit to Beijing next month.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 00:06

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