YANGON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- A court in northern Myanmar has sentenced over 150 Chinese nationals for violating the law against destroying public properties, according to the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar here Thursday.
The Myitkyina district court in northern Myanmar's Kachin state sentenced 152, out of 155 arrested Chinese loggers, to life in prison under a 1963 law calling for jail terms of 10 years to life for anyone who steals or otherwise misuses or abuses public property, defense lawyer U Khin Maung told Xinhua in a telephone interview.
Besides the 152 life sentences, two Chinese minors were given 10-year jail terms each for the same offense while a woman was given 15 years in addition to life in prison for drug possession, U Khin Maung said.
According to Myanmar's judicial system, a sentence of transportation for life is equivalent to 20 years' imprisonment, he said.
The Chinese loggers reportedly claimed that they had been tricked into carrying out the logging.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang on Wednesday said China is highly concerned with the verdict, while asking the Myanmar side to take China's concern seriously, take every factor into account and properly handle the case.
The Chinese nationals were arrested in raids on illegal logging that began on Jan. 4 in the conflict-stricken Kachin State.
Lawyers here said that the matter can be appealed to the higher level -- the Kachin state judiciary and then to the highest level - - the Supreme Court in Nay Pyi Taw.
BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhua) -- China is highly concerned with a verdict by Myanmar that has sentenced Chinese nationals to more than 10 years in prison for illegal logging, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday.
The loggers were sentenced under a 1963 law calling for jail terms of 10 years to life for anyone who steals or otherwise misuses or abuses public property.Full Story