A Chinese court sentenced the agricultural tycoon Sun Daw to 18 years in prison for a series of crimes, including “causing trouble”, a generic term commonly used against opponents.
The Gaobeidian court near Beijing also found the billionaire guilty of “illegal mining”, “illegal occupation of agricultural land”, of “gathering a crowd to attack state organs” and “obstructing the administration of the government”.
Police detained Sun in November along with 19 associates and associates after his company became embroiled in a land dispute with a state-owned rival.
Sun Dawu at a construction site for Dawu City in Baoding, North China’s Hebei Province. AP Photo.
The charismatic businessman built one of the largest Chinese agricultural companies with his wife from a few chickens and pigs in the 1980s.
It has also been a strong advocate of rural reforms and a whistleblower during the devastating swine flu outbreak in 2019, posting photos of dead pigs in the face of slow response from local authorities.
The court also imposed this WednesdayIt’s a fine of 3.11 million yuan ($ 475,000).
The trial began on Thursday, according to his lawyers, who denounced in a statement that its holding in secret “violated the general guidelines and did not guarantee the rights of defense of the accused.”
Sun was already sentenced to prison for “illegal financing” in 2003, but it was canceled after an avalanche of support from human rights defenders and the population.