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China court to rule on compensation for man jailed for Bo joke

Published on Jan 30, 2013 5:24 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A Chinese court rules on Thursday whether to award damages to a man who spent a year in a labour camp for an online joke about now disgraced leader Bo Xilai, although experts say compensation, if given, is likely to be low to avoid a flood of new grievances.

Fang Hong, a blogger and former forestry official, said he is demanding 367,000 yuan (S$73,000) for psychological suffering after being sentenced in 2011 to a year of re-education in a labour camp at the height of Bo's campaign against organised crime in the city of Chongqing, where he was Communist Party boss.

"Although there is no precedent for this in China, if you want to rule the country according to the law ... how else can you provide compensation aside from with money?" Fang said in a telephone interview this week.

His conviction was overturned last year, a few months after Bo was sacked under a cloud of lurid tales of corruption and his wife's murder of a British businessman.

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