Lawyer of mafia-style boss set for court

16:53, December 24, 2009      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Beijing lawyer Li Zhuang will soon stand trial in Chongqing on allegations of fabricating evidence and disrupting a gang-related trial, a local court official said yesterday.

Li's defense attorney also confirmed yesterday that his appeal to the local court in Chongqing asking to move the trial outside of the southwestern municipality was turned down.

"We have taken Li's case and will start his trial as soon as possible," Huang Yuwen, publicity officer of the Jiangbei district court, told China Daily.

He would not explain why the court rejected the appeal from Li's lawyer Gao Zicheng.

Li was arrested after his client, alleged local gang boss Gong Gangmo, said Li told him to lie that he had been tortured by police for eight days to extract a confession - a move meant to help revoke Gong's confession.

Li's lawyer told China Daily he intended to defend Li and insisted that the Jiangbei district judicial authorities, who are stakeholders in the case, should avoid involvement.

According to Gao, the police and procuratorate in Jiangbei who worked on Gong's case are the very ones investigating Li's case.

Moreover, the Jiangbei district court is the same one that processed Gong's case.

"The facts can either be Li committed the crime or officials tortured the gang boss," his lawyer said.

Gao also emphasized the fast processing of the case by the district court left him limited time to prepare for the defense.

Though many local lawyers refused to comment on the scandal, a number of them expressed support for Gao's appeal to move the trial.

"His appeal makes sense. It could prevent politics exerting an influence on the trial which should be independent and just," a local lawyer surnamed Liu said.

Public suspicion over the legitimacy and justice of a fair proceeding culminated as the scandal broke, the lawyer said.

Just weeks ago, a similar allegation by defendants who claimed in court they were tortured to get confessions was discussed nationwide when local lawyer Zhou Litai, and others, said the rights of defense attorney representing accused organized gangs should be protected to ensure fair trials.

But just one week after Li's arrest, the director of Chongqing's justice bureau, Lin Yujun, required about 1,000 lawyers from nine urban districts of the city to attend a conference on Saturday to "consider the general political situation and comply with discipline during the special gang sweep".

Source: China Daily
  • Do you have anything to say?
Special Coverage
  • Top 10 International Stories 2009
  • Top 10 Political Figures in spotlight 2009
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Featured trees in NY usher in Christmas Eve
  • US plane overshoots Jamaica runway, dozens hurt
  • 21,068 Tibetans benefit from safe drinking water project in Lhasa
  • Top 10 web celebrities of 2009
  • Cold snap hits N China, disrupting power, heat supplies
  • Schumacher signs to race for Mercedes
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion