China Court Sentences Police Killer To Death

Royston Chan reports in the Reuters:

A Chinese court sentenced a man to death on Monday for knifing to death six police officers in a case that spurred controversy over police treatment of suspects.

On July 1, Yang Jia stabbed a security guard at a Shanghai police station, started a fire at its gate and then burst inside and slashed several police officers, six of whom died.

The Shanghai Second Intermediate People’s Court found Yang guilty of premeditated murder, the official Xinhua news agency said. The brief report did not say whether Yang would appeal against the sentence.

The case drew rare public criticism of police conduct in a country where thousands are executed every year and support for capital punishment is strong.

Read also: More on the trial of accused cop killer Yang Jia from the Shanghaiist blog:

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.

Also:

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.

August 31, 2008 10:11 PM
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Categories: Law