Houston Community News >> NY Times Reporter Jailed in China

8/25/2006 Houston - A U.S. newspaper researcher based in China has been convicted of fraud in a Chinese court, but acquitted on charges of leaking state secrets.

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The lawyer for Zhao Yan told reporters Friday in Beijing that his client has been sentenced to three years in prison. It is unclear whether he will file an appeal. The charges against Zhao stemmed from an article in 'The New York Times' that correctly predicted former President Jiang Zemin would resign as head of the country's armed forces.

The charges were dropped in March prior to Chinese President Hu Jintau's visit to the United States. But, authorities continued to detain Zhao and prosecutors issued new indictments against him in May.

Human rights and press freedom groups say the charges were politically motivated. They also said Chinese state secret laws are too vague and provide too much discretion in their enforcement.

'The New York Times' has repeatedly denied that the journalist did anything improper.

(Contributed by Hong Kong News)