Beijing wheelchair-bound airport bomber jailed for six years

Ji Zhongxing has been jailed after trying to highlight complaints against police by detonating a bomb in a Beijing airport

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The Independent Online

A wheelchair-bound man has been jailed for detonating a home made bomb in a Beijing airport, in a bid to highlight a ten-year legal battle.

A Beijing court found Ji Zhongxing, 34, guilty of intentionally causing an explosion, according to state media, and sentenced him to six years imprisonment.

Ji, from eastern Shandong province, had been seeking redress, claiming police in southern Guangdong province had beaten him in 2005 so severely that he was left wheelchair-bound. He has been petitioning for justice ever since.

Ji detonated the bomb after police prevented him from handing out leaflets detailing his complaints to passers-by in the airport.

He and a policeman were the only people hurt in the explosion. The policeman suffered minor injuries.

Ji's lawyer, Liu Xiaoyuan told Reuters they considered the verdict "questionable", stressing that Ji did not intend to blow up the airport or commit suicide.

“We refuse to accept this,” said Ji Zhongji, Ji Zhongxing's brother. “In Guangdong he was beaten and nobody did anything for eight years. Shouldn't they investigate that?”

Ji's father appeared upset outside of the courtroom and vowed to appeal his son's sentence.

Ji's sentence comes weeks after the execution of a Chinese kebab vendor, who was convicted of killing two city officials, sparked public criticism of a justice system. Many have argued it punishes the poor harshly while letting the rich and powerful off more lightly.

Dozens of police officers stood guard outside the courthouse and cordoned off a large area, preventing his supporters from massing outside as they had done during Ji's trial in September.

Authorities have since promised to re-examine Ji's complaint against police, state media reported.