Zhou Zhenglong, the Shaanxi farmer who last year faked pictures of a tiger thought to be extinct to claim a 20,000 yuan reward, is back in court appealing his conviction and prison sentence, Xinhua reports.
This case captures so may aspects of the country. First the faking, endemic but in this instance eventually called by some alert web users who found an old New Year’s poster showing a South China tiger identical to Zhou’s photograph, but only after the farmer had been given his award. Then the bureaucracy which handed over the award after making only the most cursory check that Zhou’s photograph was genuine. Then the police investigation this spring after doubts were raised and the subsequent sacking or reprimands of 13 Shaanxi officials and the exemplary two and a half years prison sentence for Zhou– and a fine one tenth of his award money. Now Zhou’s appeal on the grounds that the officials hadn’t checked his story thoroughly and had made him a scapegoat for their inefficiency. China in a nutshell.
EastSouthWestNorth has a report on the original trial, itself a bizarre event.