China sentences one to death for Tibet riots

Lhasa, April 21 (Inditop) A Chinese court has sentenced one man to death with a two-year reprieve and two to long jail terms for starting fires that killed six people in riots in Lhasa in March 2008, the Tibet Daily reported Tuesday.

A spokesman of the Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People’s Court told the newspaper that a man identified as Penkyi received suspended death penalty for starting fires in two downtown clothing shops March 14.

“These arsons were among the worst crimes. They led to the extremely serious consequences, resulted in great loss of life and property and severely undermined social order, security and stability,” the spokesman said.

The court found two other people guilty of arson. One was sentenced to life imprisonment and the other was jailed for 10 years.

The spokesman said the trials had been open and strictly followed the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China. The defendants were provided with Tibetan language interpreters and their attorneys had expressed their arguments in full.

The report did not say when the sentences were delivered nor did it give other details of the defendants and their arguments.

On April 8, the court sentenced two people to death, two to suspended death penalty and one to life in prison on charges of arson causing death in the Tibet riots. The five were convicted of torching five shops in Lhasa, killing seven people, during the March 14 riot.