Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist, was on Saturday sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for being found guilty of illegally providing top state secrets to overseas organizations.
The ruling was handed down by the Intermediate People's Court of Changsha City, capital of central China's Hunan Province, at the first trial.
Shi, 37, who was employed by the Contemporary Business News published in Changsha, from Feb. 11, 2004 to April 22, 2004, was also deprived of his political rights for two years, court source ssaid.
The court was told that the main contents of a certain important document were read out at an internal meeting of the editorial board of the Contemporary Business News last April, with a special warning saying the contents were classified and should not be spread further.
Shi, who was then head of the central editor desk with the newscenter of the newspaper, attended the internal meeting and took notes. On the same day after the meeting, Shi sent the main contents of the document aboard via e-mail and had it published in an overseas publication. The e-mail was picked up time and again by several overseas Internet portals.
The National Administration for the Protection of State Secretslater certified the contents leaked to overseas by Shi as top state secrets.