Fresh details reveal seized lawyers' misconduct in, outside court

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-7-19 9:41:08

Lawyers seized by police earlier for organizing paid protests to sway court decisions in the name of rights protection are more apt to make a scene in and out of a court and pump up their own reputations, the latest case details reveal.

According to a statement released Saturday by the Ministry of Public Security, nine lawyers and several other suspects have been placed under "coercive measures", which, according to the Criminal Procedure Law, include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

The group, led by Fengrui Law Firm, were suspected of being involved in disrupting public order and seeking profits by illegally hiring protesters and swaying court decisions in the name of "defending justice and public interests."

Since July 2012, the group has organized more than 40 controversial incidents.


"At the Fengrui Law Firm, Wu Gan was famously known to specialize in the 'physical' aspect of things, along with a group of 'warriors,'" said Xie Yuandong, one of the arrested and formerly an intern lawyer with the firm.

"They completely disregarded legal facts or laws and regulations when in court, and could always make a scene outdoors no matter how big or small the case was," Xie said.

In January, Wu, going by the online name of "Super Vulgar Butcher," was sent to the city of Dali in southwest China's Yunnan Province on a case despite the fact that he was never a lawyer.

"I immediately knew that Wu would create troubles once he arrived there," Xie said, adding that it was arranged beforehand that Wu was responsible for creating pressures on the court while Xie attended to the case.

Wu reportedly drove around the court building repeatedly after being banned from entry. Once allowed inside, he continued to drive around in the yard while shouting the name of the head of the court.

Wu was also known to have played a key role in raising banners, shouting and screaming, obtaining the names of court judges and local officials and posting messages online to hype up cases on multiple occasions.

"Lawyers did what lawyers should. Butchers did what butchers should. This was good cooperation," said Zhou Shifeng, director of the firm who is also under police custody. "Although Wu was no lawyer, he was capable of doing what lawyers could not."

According to Zhou, Wu's reputation as "butcher" was huge, and any government department would pay great attention when they knew Wu was coming.

Meanwhile, suspect Liu Sixin, a firm assistant with a law PhD, revealed that he wrote and prepared basically all documents needed for a hearing and Zhou only read verbatim at court, describing Zhou's work as "very unprofessional."

Camera recordings for a court hearing in the northeastern city of Shenyang in April showed that several defending lawyers were shouting and screaming shortly after the trial opened despite judges' calls for order. They later switched targets to police trying to interfere, with the firm's female lawyer Wang Yu pointing fingers and calling them "hooligans."

Jiao Yuling, a chief judge with the court, said that all four trials on the same case had to be aborted due to the commotion created by defending lawyers, the defendants and their relatives.

According to the ministry statement, making a scene and then being forced out of court was the group's usual tricks to paint an image of victim for themselves, induce sympathy and hype up cases on a wider scope.

"Fengrui Law Firm was very young back then and couldn't compare with other influential counterparts. I wanted to manage several huge cases, and once with a reputation, I could make more money," Zhou said.

Zhou reportedly only accepted high-profile cases, and for those small ones, the firm would always resort to methods to boost publicity.

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