Call for gang rape trial to be public

By Wang Nan Source:Global Times Published: 2013-7-30 0:08:01

The mother of a suspect in a high-profile gang rape case filed for a public trial of her son's case on Monday, the lawyer of the suspect confirmed with the Global Times.

The application was filed at the Haidian district court in Beijing Monday afternoon, according to Lan He, the suspect's lawyer.

"My client has made a very brave choice between privacy and the truth. They are willing to publicize all evidence and legal proceedings in the case and welcome supervision from the entire society," said Lan. The lawyer also noted that "the move is aimed at clearing misunderstandings toward the suspect and getting the case back on the right track."

The suspect, surnamed Li, is the 17-year-old son of two high-profile military singers. Li and four others, only one of whom is an adult, allegedly participated in a gang rape in Beijing on February 17.

Some experts claim that the application will not be supported by the court as the law stipulates that cases involving minors will not be heard publicly. 

Tian Canjun, the attorney of the alleged victim, cited articles 183, 274, and 467 of the Criminal Procedure Law in a Sina Weibo post. The articles state privacy of minors should be protected and their trials cannot be made public. 

However, Lan told the Global Times that "the law does not prohibit people from filing an application," adding that "no matter how the court reacts, the mother's right to file the application is protected by the law."

"She just wants a fair trial. Public opinion has already declared her son guilty, with or without evidence. She finds that unfair and wants the legal procedure to be transparent," said Lan.

Lan confirmed to the media earlier that the alleged victim tried to extort his client. He also asked the court for a thorough investigation into whether the alleged victim was involved in organized prostitution.

"Whether the court supports the application depends on the situations and interests of multiple sides," said Liu Tao, an associate professor with the People's Pubic Security University of China.

He added that "in this case, the victim's privacy and interest have to be considered, but the court will also take public opinion and the case's social impact into account."



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