Sunday, October 10, 2010
Xiao Chuanguo Sentenced to Five and Half Month Detention
In an unusual move, a local court in Beijing took on the case of attacks on Fang Zhouzi and Fang Xuanchang on a Sunday. The proceedings was supposed to be open but few were able to obtain tickets. Fang Zhouzi did not attend it himself. His lawyer Peng Jian represented him. Fang Xuanchang was present.
Previously, the prosecutor of this case had adopted a lower charge against the accused, citing them only for "causing disturbance" (寻衅滋事). The court then used a "simplified procedure" (简易程序) to reach a speedy verdict without a jury.
In court, Xiao Chuanguo did not contest the prosecutor's charge of beating other people and causing disturbance. He said that he did not quite understand the term but "if the court thinks what I did fit this crime, I have no objections." But he denied that he had offered money to his relative Dai Jianxiang for the attacks, while Dai Jianxiang, a co-defendant in the case, insisted as true.
The court spent almost 5 hours cross-examining the evidences and then announced to take a break. However, after Fang Xuanchang, Peng Jian, and others had left the building, the court suddenly issued a callback and announced its decision.
The court found Xiao Chuanguo and his co-defendants guilty and sentenced Xiao Chuanguo and Dai Jianxiang for 5.5 month of detention (拘役), a lessor punishment than normal jail terms. Other co-defendants who participated in the attacks receives detention terms of 4, 3, and 1.5 months.
Even before the trial, Fang Zhouzi and Fang Xuanchang had already voiced their objection of the lessor charges. They believe the accused should be trialled for attempted murder. After the sentencing, Fang Zhouzi expressed his shock, claiming that the decision was even below his already lowered expectations.
Xiao Chuanguo indicated that he might appeal. Fang Zhouzi and Fang Xuanchang are also seeking other possible legal procedures.