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Vandals Face Death Penalty for Damaging Military Facilities
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Vandals who deliberately damage China's military telecommunication facilities will face long jail terms or even the death penalty, according to a judicial deliberation released by the Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Thursday.

"Most of the damage to military telecommunication facilities in China is caused by illegal construction, which causes great harm to national security and damages the interests of national defence," an SPC source said, adding military communication cables were cut hundreds of times each year.

The judicial explanation details four levels of sentence depending on the extent of the damage: imprisonment up to three years; three to ten years in prison; ten years to life imprisonment; and death.

It stipulates that vandalism that hinders "important military communications" affects operations or inflicts losses on the army, causing the deaths of more than three people, injuring more than ten and losses exceeding one million yuan (US$128,200), could incur at least ten years in jail or even the death penalty.

Actions that cause communication difficulties while troops conduct disaster-relief or military maneuvers, or deal with emergencies, with "extremely serious" results, could incur the same penalties, it said.

"Damaging military communication facilities or computer systems, or deliberately disrupting communications signals, could incur a jail sentence of up to three years.

The deliberation will be effective from Friday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2007)

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