by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 09, 2013
A Chinese court on Sunday sentenced the brother-in-law of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison on charges of fraud, his lawyer said.
Police had detained Liu Hui in January on suspicion of committing fraud in connection with a real-estate deal. Attorney Mo Shaoping told AFP that Liu Hui was sentenced at a court in Beijing.
"The sentence is based on insufficient evidence and is completely unjust," Mo said, adding that Liu would appeal.
Liu Hui is the brother-in-law of Chinese political activist Liu Xiaobo, who was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for "subversion" after he circulated a charter calling for democratic reforms. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.
The Nobel winner's wife, Liu Xia, attended the trial Sunday, Mo said. She left home in April after years under house arrest to attend her brother's opening trial session.
"Liu Xia is very outraged by the sentence and thinks it's completely political persecution," Mo said.
An official who answered the phone at the court could not immediately confirm the sentence.
China dissident's brother, mother given passports
The development comes on the day that Chinese President Xi Jinping is to start his first summit with President Barack Obama in California.
Chen Guangfu now plans to travel to Taiwan to meet his brother, who now lives in the US after his dramatic escape from house arrest last year, which infuriated Chinese authorities.
A diplomatic stand-off ensued for several weeks until the lawyer was allowed to leave the country.
Chen Guangfu told AFP he received a passport along with his mother, Wang Jinxiang, after applying in January.
"We received (the passports) by post, there was no reason stated for why they arrived now," he said.
"Guangcheng will go to Taiwan on June 23... if possible we will travel to Taiwan to meet him and his family."
His son Chen Kegui, who was sentenced to jail last year for assaulting a police officer in what rights groups said was a reprisal for Chen Guangcheng's escape, told him last month that he was in "great pain" with continued appendicitis, he added.
Chen Guangcheng ran afoul of authorities in Shandong by exposing forced abortions and sterilisations under China's one-child policy. He was jailed and later reported severe beatings while under house arrest.
Obama has been pressed to raise human rights issues during his meetings with Xi, including the plight of Chen Guangcheng's family.
China News from SinoDaily.com
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