China sentences two men to death in killing of Tibetan religious leader

By REUTERS
February 2, 2016 08:40

BEIJING - China has sentenced two men to death for the 2013 killing of a prominent Tibetan religious leader, state media said, in what had been one of Tibet's most closely watched murder cases.

Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, who lived in exile in Scotland and became a British citizen, was among the first spiritual leaders to teach Tibetan Buddhism to followers in the West.

He, his nephew and his driver were killed in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu in October 2013 over what police had said was a financial dispute.

One of those sentenced was Thubten Kunsal, who had been an artist at Akong Rinpoche's monastery in Britain between 2002 and 2011, the Chengdu intermediate court said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua news agency on Sunday.

He and another man, Tsering Paljor, were given the death sentence for stabbing the three men to death in a confrontation at the monk's Chengdu home over 2.7 million yuan ($410,000) in wages that Thubten Kunsal said he was owed.

A third man was given three years in prison for hiding the knives used in the killings.


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