9:30 am Wenyuhe Court House, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
Today was the second session of Wu Yuren’s court trial, and it was not very exciting, except for the fact that the court prosecution came out with a final statement that went like this, “We can promise that the evidence that we have on Wu Yuren for the charge of ‘Interfering with Public Service with Violence’ is reliable and we stand behind our claims’. This is after they came out with a report that states that the original video tape from the Jiuxianqiao Police Station no longer exists because in July of 2010 the station underwent extensive renovations, that included the installation of new wall mount cameras. Thus, all footage prior to July 2010 no longer exists. The hand held evidence was stated as being the genuine article, that we saw in court on November 17th, and that because the hand held video camera is used on a daily basis, the footage from May 31st has been recorded over. Otherwise, there is no other evidence. But, they seem to claim that they have enough to convict Wu of his ‘crime’. Whatever. A joke. The prosecutor went on to say that he must learn a lesson from all of his on his own, re-educate and change behavior.
Inside the court house, there was a document presented which shows that the deputy chief of the Jiuxianqiao Police Station confirms that the video cameras have been replaced, thus, no footage available.
When asked what Wu Yuren’s response to all of this is, he said, “Because you can not show any concrete evidence on me for the past 8 months, then this is all fake”. He also went on to say, “To live in China now is a big risk….I have no confidence in the [legal] system”. He was told to keep his comments to himself and that they don’t want to hear that kind of talk in the court room.
There was no verdict today, nor idea of when the sentence will be passed down, or for how long. We can only speculate that he will be given 12 months, and as he has already served 8 months, then will have about 4 left to serve in the detention center. The lawyer thinks that the sentencing will come before the 20th of February, which is when I get back from my holidays with our daughter.
At one point, Wu tried to turn around and look at me, but was told not to by the judge and the white gloved cop sitting next to him, and another one sitting next to me. We were not allowed to talk to each other, only a brief head nod when he walked into the court room. The session took just over one hour. No breaks this time.
I was allowed in, and sat next to three young Chinese girls, who were obviously planted there as I had no idea who they were. A cop sat next to me the entire time.
The crowd was great, considering the weather and proximity to the holidays (Chinese New Year starts on the 3rd of February). I arrived at 9 am and had enough time to visit and talk with the media, as there were international and local media sources. The police presence was very noticeable, as was the fact that Chinese artist/social activist Ai Weiwei was unavailable…
So, basically, today was to wrap up the court procedures from the first time and to tell the lawyer that he is to wait for the notification from the court as to when the sentencing will be handed down.
Thank you to all those who came out, truly, it makes a difference!