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A famous Chinese defense lawyer, Li Zhuang, is on trial on charges of crimes of “false evidence”and “interference with a witness”, based on the accusations of his former client, Gong, Gangmo, a ringleader himself accused of crimes of murder, transportation of drugs, organized crime and gun related charges. The case against defense lawyer Li Zhuang is entirely based on his meetings with his high profile criminal defendant in custody.
It seems a part of the governmental campaign to crack down on “organized crime” led by the ambitious Chongqin Party Chief Bo Xilai, the son of late revolutionary Bo Yibo. Many observers, the legal profession in particular, are monitoring this unprecedented event in decades closely. Undoubtedly, the process and tactics of putting Li Zhuang on trial and the expected conviction is highly unusual and questionable.
For one thing: the Chinese justice system is certainly swift and efficient in this case: Li Zhuang was arrested less than one month ago, on Dec. 13, 2009, and his "trial" was ended on Dec. 30, 2009. No witnesses were called during the entire trial, including the accuser, and certainly no defense motions were granted, including necessary time for his own defense lawyer Gao to prepare the defense. Indeed, under current prosecutorial threats, who dares to challenge the system and defend Li Zhuang? Based on reliable report, his conviction is expected on Jan. 8, just two days away!
Indeed, it's not just Li Zhuang on trial based on the dubious crimes accused by an accused murderer, it's the entire Chinese justice system on trial too, among other things, those key legal principles and cornerstones for a modern society:
--The attorney-Client communication privilege; --Attorney's basic right and obligation to tell the client not to talk or divulge information to court or prosecutor; --Defendant's right to talk and freely discuss his/her case with legal counsel without being taped or videotaped; --Defendant's right to choose his or her own counsel; --Defense side's right to access to witness and evidence used against him/her;
Li Zhuang is on trial, so is the Chinese legal system, and the rule of law...