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China Upholds Life Sentence for Dissident

February 28, 2003|From Associated Press

BEIJING — A Chinese court today upheld a life prison term for U.S.-based dissident Wang Bingzhang on spying and terrorism charges, his defense lawyer said.

The ruling by the Guangdong Provincial High People's Court ends the appeals process for Wang, and no further legal challenges to his Feb. 9 conviction are allowed, said lawyer Wen Chao.

Wang, 55, was arrested after police said they found him tied up in a temple in southern China on July 3. However, democracy activists suggested that Chinese agents abducted him in Vietnam after he secretly met with Chinese labor leaders. He was visiting Hanoi with two other dissidents when they were reported missing in June.

The prison term was the heaviest yet imposed on a member of China's pro-democracy movement, although the charges -- terrorism and spying -- were different from previous accusations against dissidents.

Wang was accused of spying for rival Taiwan and plotting attacks that officials said included a possible bombing of China's embassy in Thailand.

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