XILINHOT, Inner Mongolia - Li Lindong, a coal truck driver, was sentenced to death on Wednesday for killing a Mongolian herder who was dragged under Li's vehicle.
The verdict of the Intermediate People's Court of the Xilin Gol League in Inner Mongolia was announced immediately after the six-hour trial ended.
Lu Xiangdong, who was sitting beside Li in the truck when the herder, Mergen, was dragged to his death under the vehicle, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Two others, Wu Xiaowei and Li Minggang, were both given jail terms of three years for obstructing justice.
The four men said they would appeal.
About 160 people attended the trial, including relatives of the defendants, as well as Mergen's relatives.
Mergen and 20 other herders attempted to block Li Lindong's vehicle on May 10 to protest against noise and dust created by coal trucks going through Mergen's village, which is located in the Xi Ujimqin Banner in the Xilin Gol League.
According to police, Li Lindong dragged Mergen under his truck for 145 meters before he died.
Wu and Li Minggang later blocked the way as police tried to stop the truck, allowing Li Lindong and Lu to escape.
After the sentence, Bayar, Mergen's brother, said he was satisfied with the verdict.
"We saw justice and I believe that herders from the Xi Ujimqin Banner will be happy with the verdict as well," he said.
(China Daily 06/09/2011 page2)