Cara Anna of AP writes that the increasingly sensitive trial of Yang Jia, the “cop-killer”, which was postponed till after the Olympics, is likely to end in a death sentence for the man. However, many among the Chinese public are sympathetic to the man after Xinhua’s report of Yang’s earlier rejected claim for psychological damage and Southern Weekend‘s long, sympathetic front-page story which asked what could have made a young, quiet man who liked travelling want to take so many lives. In a telephone interview with AP, Yan Lieshan, editor of the highly respected Guangzhou-based paper, said:
“That’s the so-called ‘open, fair trial… I think people get what’s going on. Let’s see how this thing gets a happy ending.”
The doubt surrounding the transparency and fairness of the trial has been underscored by an editorial last month in The Beijing News which:
called for Yang’s appointed lawyer, Xie Youming, to drop the case because he’s a legal adviser for Shanghai’s Zhabei district, which oversees the police station where the attack occurred. An application by two Beijing-based lawyers to represent Yang at his father’s request was rejected.
Xie is refusing to take phone calls from the media, a colleague at Shanghai’s Mingjiang Law Firm, Di Zhanjun, said. The Shanghai No. 2 People’s Intermediate Court, where Yang’s trial was held, wouldn’t comment. And a Shanghai police spokesman on Wednesday only said the trial was over, with the verdict to be announced within a few days.
A Beijing-based lawyer and legal blogger, Liu Xiaoyuan, said Wednesday that more than 30 of his 40-plus blog posts about Yang’s case since it began had been blocked.
“Yesterday, I wrote one about why the Shanghai court didn’t put the notice of the trial’s schedule on its Web site, which the law says they should do three days in advance,” Liu said.
That post was blocked too, he said.
While papers based in other parts of China have voiced their doubts over the legal process in this case, AP notes that Shanghai-based media have been pretty much silent on the issue. To be fair to them, we’re sure they’re working on other more important stories. Like the Expo.