November 1st, 2012 05:01 PM
BEIJING—A Chinese court has sentenced a democracy advocate who started a website and participated in online political discussions to eight years in prison on the charge of inciting subversion.
Attorney Ma Xiaopeng says the Kunming Intermediate People’s Court notified him Thursday morning that his client Cao Haibo had been sentenced in a hearing Wednesday.
Ma says the court violated Chinese law by announcing the verdict in a closed-door hearing.
The lawyer says he did not know the reasons why the court convicted Cao of the charge of inciting subversion of state power because he has not yet obtained the verdict.
Subversion is a vaguely defined charge frequently used to punish political critics.
Cao was detained in October last year.