Beijing, Jul 29: China on Thursday sentenced a prominent Chinese billionaire to 18 years in prison for a host of charges, but critics say more so because he was a government critic.
Sun Dawu, 67, who owns one of the country’s largest private agricultural businesses in the northern province of Hebei has on several occasions spoken out about human rights and other politically sensitive topics.
Dawu was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” – a charge often used against activists, along with a host of other charges including illegally occupying farmland, assembling a crowd to attack state agencies and obstructing government workers from performing their duties. He was also fined 3.11 million yuan ($478,697).
He was reportedly detained last year, along with 20 relatives and business associates, over a land dispute with a government-run farm.