ATM man to appeal against jail term

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2008, 12:00am

The father of a migrant worker who was jailed for five years on Monday for pocketing 175,000 yuan (HK$194,150) from a malfunctioning ATM in Guangdong insisted yesterday that his son would file an appeal after discovering 60 per cent of netizens believed he was not guilty.

Xu Cailiang told Xinhua that he expected his son, Xu Ting , 25, would appeal in a week.

The son had said earlier that he would not be launching an appeal.

Mr Xu said his son had accepted his sentence only because he had no access to the 'latest information' - a reference to an online vote on the Nanfang Daily's website in which 340 out of 436 voters said the five-year sentence was too severe. Some 62 voters said they felt the sentence was appropriate.

'If I accept the ruling, I will let the supporters down,' Mr Xu said. 'Besides, if Xu Ting doesn't appeal, he will cause his father to lose face.'

Mr Xu has said earlier that he would spend the rest of his life campaigning for an impartial hearing for his son, whom he believed to be innocent.

Xu Ting was originally jailed for life but was granted a retrial in December after a public outcry.

The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court, which delivered the latest verdict, heard that Xu withdrew the money over the course of 171 transactions from a Guangzhou Commercial Bank ATM after discovering that it had deducted only one yuan from his account for every 1,000 yuan he withdrew in April 2006.

A friend, who was told of the error, withdrew 18,000 yuan and was sentenced to a year in jail.