The family of reporter Lan Chengzhang , whose murder at an illegal coal mine in Hunyuan county, Shanxi , sparked a national outcry, has appealed to provincial prosecutors for a retrial to overturn what they call lenient sentencing. Lan was working for China Trade News when he was fatally beaten on January 10 during an apparent investigation into the mine. He died in hospital a day later. The court in Linfen jailed mine owner Hou Zhenrun for life and several men he hired were given lengthy jail terms. But Lan's brother, Lan Chengji , has questioned the validity of sentences, saying that the defendants should also be put on trial for illegal mining, a charge the court in Linfen has rejected. The Lan family's lawyer was not sure whether the call for a new trial would be accepted.