BEIJING - An American geologist detained and tortured by China’s state security agents over an oil industry database has been sentenced to 8 years in jail.

The case of Xue Feng has been a troubling example of China’s rough justice system and the way the U.S. government handles cases against its citizens.

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Lawyer Tong Wei said the sentence was handed down Monday by Beijing’s No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court.

Xue was charged with seeking and providing intelligence, which was related to the purchase of a commercial database on the oil industry.

The verdict comes more than six months since the last court hearing and two and a half years after Xue was detained. The protracted prosecution and pretrial detention has never been explained.