HOHHOT - Two people have been jailed for intentionally damaging a section of the Great Wall in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, prosecutors said Thursday.
The two men surnamed Zhang and Tian were sentenced to three years in prison with a four-year reprieve for drilling two holes and four trenches into the Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) in northern Hohhot, the regional capital, according to a written statement released by the Hohhot Procuratorate.
The pair were sentenced at the People's Court of Xincheng district, Hohhot city last Friday, it said.
Zhang, the project manager, and Tian, chief engineer of the gold prospecting team of Hohhot Kekao Mining Co, were detained on December 9, 2009 after initial probes found them to have allegedly damaged the 2000-year-old wall last September and October despite two written warnings issued by the cultural relics department of Inner Mongolia in September 20 and 30 last year.
The case was similar to one in 2008, in which five miners received jail terms ranging from one to three years in Inner Mongolia for damaging a section of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Great Wall.
The construction of the Great Wall dates back to around 200 BC when Emperor Qin Shihuang (259-210 BC) had fortification walls built to stop invasions from northern tribes.