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VOA: Lawyer Insists That Journalist Is Not Guilty

Gao Yu, an independent journalist who faced charges of leaking state secrets, has had her sentence shortened from seven years to five years, and will be allowed to serve it outside of prison.

Voice of America interviewed Gao’s lawyer Shang Baojun over the phone to get details about her second trial, which ended on Thursday.

Shang insisted that the defense lawyers maintained that clear facts were not presented [in this case], that the case lacked evidence, and that the verdict should be changed to "not guilty."

Shang added that, because Gao is in her 70’s and she has health problems, as her defense lawyer, he took comfort in her reduced term, which is to be served outside of prison.

Xinhua News Agency reported that the court decided to change Gao’s sentence after "she confessed her crimes, pleaded guilty, and repented her wrongdoing during the second trial."

Sources: Voice of America, November 26, 2015; Xinhua News Agency, November 26, 2015 2015