On July 4, 2014, the state-sanctioned Nanle County church pastor, Shaojie Zhang, was sentenced to 12 years in prison in China, charged with “fraud” and “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” On August 21, Pastor Zhang Shaojie’s final appeal against this 12-year sentence was rejected by the Puyang Intermediate Court.
08/21/2014 China (ChinaAid)– China Aid learned today that Pastor Zhang Shaojie’s final appeal against his 12-year sentence for “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” and a fabricated fraud charge was rejected by the Puyang Intermediate Court in China’s central Henan on Aug. 21.
Li Fangping, one of Zhang’s attorneys, confirmed that he received a phone call from Judge Ma, who presided over the case, saying that the original verdict was being upheld. Ma told Li on Aug. 21 that the second verdict had already been sent to Zhang.
This decision came despite the Li’s official request that the Henan Provincial People’s Court appoint a third court to conduct the second appeal trial for Zhang’s case because the “Puyang Intermediate Court is already disqualified for its mishandling of the first trial,” Li told China Aid. Li’s request, made on Aug. 1, was never acknowledged.
“The only other procedure left to file is a judicial review,” said China Aid founder and president Bob Fu.