China toll evader first given life gets short term

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2011 5:28 AM
China toll evader first given life gets short term

China says a man originally sentenced to life in prison for evading highway tolls has had his punishment reduced to 2 1/2 years.

A court in the central province of Henan handed down Shi Jianfeng's new sentence and a 10,000 yuan (1,577) fine on Thursday following a lengthy review.

Shi's original fraud sentence sparked a rare public outcry over a legal system that many consider unfair and politically tainted.

He was accused of evading more than $560,000 in highway cargo tolls by mounting fake military license plates on his gravel trucks.

Vehicles with military plates are exempt from the onerous tolls that can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of transporting goods over long distances.