XI'AN - Zhou Zhenglong, the man who won his appeal for a lighter sentence after being found guilty of producing fake photographs of the endangered South China tiger, has now claimed the images were real all along.
On Saturday, the farmer from Zhenping county, Shaanxi province, sent an e-mail to Liu Liyuan, an associate professor at Beijing Normal University, asking him to help him prove the photographs are real.
Liu had earlier supported Zhou's claims that the photographs of the rare beast were authentic.
In an interview with Beijing News on Wednesday, Zhou said he told the court he faked the images because "that was the only way to get released".
He also claimed he was beaten into making a confession while in police custody, the report said.
Liu posted Zhou's latest claims in his blog and forwarded it to the media.
Gu Yushu, Zhou's lawyer at his second trial, confirmed the statement and said Zhou had asked him to prepare for a new appeal.
"The appeal is in compliance with the law during his suspended sentence, and it will not affect his present sentence," the lawyer was quoted as saying by Chengdu Commercial Daily.
On Sunday, police took Zhou for further questioning, which Gu said was standard legal procedure in such a case, the report said.
However, neither the public security bureau nor the court would confirm that Zhou had been questioned, it said.
Zhou was sentenced to jail in November for faking the photos, but he later won an appeal to have the sentence suspended.