A court in China has ruled that the conviction of a retired civil servant-turned-blogger who posted a poem mocking disgraced politician Bo Xilai and was sent to a labor camp for one year in 2011 for “inciting social disturbances” was illegal.
Fang Hong, 51, who was freed from a detention facility on April 24, brought a case against his conviction in the south-western city of Chongqing, where a court dismissed his conviction for lack of evidence on Friday. According to the Associated Press, Fang intends to seek around $6,000 in compensation as well as apologies from the city administration and various media outlets who levelled the accusations against him:
“I am very happy both personally and for the city of Chongqing,” he said. “This is the start of a process of restoring the rule of law in the city."
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Bo Xilai, previously Chongqing’s communist party secretary, was removed from his post in March and is currently being investigated for breaching party discipline.
According to the BBC, the party turned against him after his police chief, Wang Lijun, reportedly sought asylum at the US consulate after a dispute with Bo over his probe into the death of British business man Neil Heywood, whose body was discovered in a Chongqing hotel in November. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, is currently being held in China on suspicion of murdering Heywood.