Shannxi farmer Zhou zhenglong is seen in meditation in this undated photo. [File Photo: Chengdu Business Daily]
Zhou Zhenglong, who is charged for fraud and possession of ammunition, will make a court appearance in Xunyang County, Ankang, on September 23, as reported by Chengdu Business Daily.
Zhou, a 54-year-old farmer from the Zhenping county of Shaanxi, claimed to have photographed a rare South China tiger in the wild in October last year. The fabricated photos of the tiger made a splash with the public and circulated widely online. However, police found official proof of the photo's inauthenticity after a month-long investigation.
Zhou was arrested in June this year on suspicion of fraud, and has since been kept in custody.
According to Xiang Minyi, the vice president of the People's Court in Xunyang County, the People's Procuratorate of Xunyang County has sent a copy of the indictment to Zhou more than 20 days ago. While arresting Zhou, the police also found 93 military self-loader bullets in his possession. Zhou will therefore face two charges.
It is reported that Zhou’s lawyer is Zhang Yong, deputy director of Liheng Law Office.
According to inside sources, Zhou has confessed his guilt and undergone a complete transformation in contrast to his previous intransigence. He has admitted his mistakes and is concerned at the prospect of years in prison.
It is reported that, because of the unique features of the case, Shaanxi Justice authorities have discussed it in depth. But the case itself is not complicated, and local lawyers from Xunyang speculate that it may go to sentence at court.
(China.org.cn by Jessica Zhang, September 18, 2008)