Reduced sentence for Dutchman jailed in China for neighbour’s death

Statue of justice.

A Dutchman jailed for 12 years in China for killing a neighbour has had the sentence cut to 4.5 years on appeal, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

Harm Fitie has already served two years in jail after being found guilty of pushing his neighbour off the roof of their home. Fitie claims the man was drunk and lost his footing.

The Chinese appeal court ruled that Fitie had a role in the death and the fact that he tried to resuscitate him was a sign of guilt and remorse. However the charge was reduced from manslaughter to negligence, resulting in the shorter sentence.

Fitie’s father, who was in court, said he was relieved the sentence has been cut but had hoped his son would be found not guilty. ‘Of course it is a disappointment that someone who is clearly innocent is jailed for 4.5 years,’ he said.

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