China tries five cult members for McDonald’s murder

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China tried five members of a banned religious group on Thursday for the murder of a woman who was beaten to death at a McDonald’s restaurant after she refused to give them her telephone number when they apparently tried to recruit her. China has sentenced dozens of followers of Quannengshen, or the Church of Almighty God, since the murder of the woman in May in the eastern province of Shandong. One man and four women were charged with murder and with illegal cult activities, according to the court in Shandong’s Yantai city. The court’s official microblog carried pictures of the five, dressed in orange jackets identifying them as the accused, with about a dozen policemen standing behind them. “The facts are clear and there is plenty of evidence,” Gao Cheng, the lawyer for the murdered woman’s family, was quoted as saying by the People’s Daily on its website. The accused had shown no sign of repentance and so should be severely punished, Gao said.

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