A Chinese court sentenced Sun Dawu to 18 years in jail on Wednesday after the billionaire was detained last November on charges that included “provoking trouble” and “gathering a crowd to attack state organs.”

The charges against the self-made billionaire were related to a land dispute between Sun’s agricultural firm, the Dawu Group, and a state-owned competitor.

Sun was tried in secret in a Gaobeidian court near Beijing. As well as the long stint in prison, he was fined 3.11 million yuan ($475,000).

He was detained by authorities back in November, along with 19 relatives and business associates, after Dawu employees tried to stop a government-owned enterprise from demolishing a company building in August 2020. According to a social media post by Sun, more than 20 people were injured in a clash with the police.

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Sun’s legal team said prosecutors alleged that the Dawu Group acted deceptively toward its employees, interfering with the government’s administrative duties, and causing political instability. The billionaire has faced a slew of other charges, including illegal mining and illegal occupation of farmland. (RT)