Farmer to stand trial again over faking tiger photos

Farmer to stand trial again over faking tiger photos 2008-11-13 18:39:12

XI’AN, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) — The farmer who faked photographs of an endangered tiger species in the wild will have his fraud conviction re-examined by a higher court next Monday.

Ankang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, announced on Thursday that the court hearing will start at 8:30 a.m., in response to the farmer’s appeal against the first ruling handed down in September.

Zhou Zhenglong, 54, faked the pictures of a South China tiger in order to win an alleged 100,000yuan (14,642 U.S. dollars) in prize money. The tiger is a subspecies that has not been seen in the wild in China for years, and is believed to be extinct outside zoos.

The provincial forestry department announced the news to the public on Oct.12 and gave him a 20,000-yuan reward.

Zhou was jailed for two and a half years after his conviction at Xunyang County People’s Court on Sept. 27.

According to former court documents, Zhou shot 62 photos of a poster of a tiger, which he disguised in foliage on Oct. 3, 2007.

Zhou’s defense lawyers claimed Zhou was not solely responsible for the bad publicity generated by the case, saying the “cursory release of the news by relevant departments” helped promulgate the fraud.

A total of 13 government staff in Shaanxi were sacked or reprimanded as a result of the case.

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