Latest Development of the Dawu Case: Charges Brought to Court

Dawu legal team, May 12, 2021

Lawyers representing Dawu clients issued an update on the high-profile case last week. Their previous statement, “10 Questions and Answers Concerning the Dawu Case”, introduced the case as follows: “Sun Dawu (孙大午), a prominent entrepreneur in Xushui District, Baoding City, Hebei Province (河北省保定市徐水区), is the founder of Dawu Group. Beginning nearly 40 years ago with 1,000 chickens and 50 pigs, Dawu Group has transformed a remote and undesirable tract of saline land into a pearl on the North China Plain, building a modern community with production, conference center, education, healthcare, leisure and entertainment, tourism, and retirement care rolled into one. [Dawu] employs nearly 10,000 employees, and operates 28 subsidiaries with assets totalling more than 10 billion yuan. …In the early morning of November 11, 2020, Sun Dawu and the senior management of the group suddenly suffered its biggest crisis since 2003; Sun was imprisoned along with his family and key executives; those held include 25 people, among them his wife, two sons, and daughters-in-law.” Since then, four have been released, and 21 indicted.” — The Editors


On May 6, 2021, the first day after the May Day public holiday week, the defenders received a notice from the Gaobeidian City People’s Court informing us that the Dawu defendants had been indicted and the case had been brought to court, and that Hebei Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group Limited, Sun Dawu (孙大午) and 20 other people (or work units) were charged with picking quarrels, disrupting production and operation, forcing transactions, obstructing public service, gathering a crowd to storm state organs, illegal mining, illegal occupation of agricultural land, illegal absorption of public deposits, and fraud.

It took the Gaobeidian City People’s Procuratorate only 10 days, including five days of holidays, to prosecute the case after it had been transferred from the public security authorities to the Procuratorate for examination and prosecution on April 26, 2021.

The case involves 21 defendants (including individuals and work units), nine criminal charges, as well as 348 volumes of case files and verification materials. However, almost none of the defense attorneys were able to complete the basic legal work such as reading the files, meeting with the accused, and submitting legal opinions during the short 10-day period of review and prosecution. The legal team believes that on account of the large number of people involved in this case, and the short length of time given for review and prosecution time, the case sets historical precedent in the history of Chinese law and prosecution.

The People’s Court of Gaobeidian City has already ordered the defense lawyers to submit the power of attorney forms to the court by the end of business day today’s [May 6]. Meanwhile the court has sent staff members, by air, to some of the defense attorneys’ law firms to deliver indictments and the dossier discs.

There is every indication that, at least in Hebei, there has been a 24-hour contingency plan put in place: externally, a press blackout has been imposed; internally, the authorities are doing everything they can to expedite the case process, with the intent being to get through the defense arguments quickly and conclude the affair as soon as possible. The legal team originally predicted that the case would have its first instance prior to July 1, but now it seems that the Hebei authorities are determined to rush through with the second instance and announce a verdict before July 1.

According to insiders, the case has a strong prosecution and court lineup, with the Procurator-General of Gaobeidian People’s Procuratorate and the President of Gaobeidian People’s Court personally participating in the trial as the prosecutor and presiding judge, respectively.


2021年5月6日,五一公共假期后的第一天,各辩护人先后收到高碑店市人民法院的通知,告知;河北大午农牧集团有限公司、孙大午等21人(或单 位)涉嫌寻衅滋事、破坏生产经营、强迫交易、妨害公务、聚众冲击国家机关、非法采矿、非 法占用农用地、非法吸收公众存款、诈骗一案已由高碑店市人民检察院起诉至该院,此时距离 此案由公安机关移送高碑店市人民检察院审查起诉时间(2021年4月26日)仅仅10天,且时间横跨五一假期。

本案涉及21名被告人(或被告单位),9项罪名,348册卷宗及鉴定材料,在短短的10天审查起诉期间内,几乎无一辩护人能够完成阅卷、会见当事人,递交法律意见等基础辩护工作,部分辩护人甚至来不及到检察机关递交委托手续。法律团队认为,本案涉案人数涉嫌罪名卷宗材料如此之多,审查起诉时间如此之短,在本国检察史乃至法律史上可谓开创了绝无仅有的历史先例。

高碑店市人民法院已经通过司法局、律所等各种渠道,催促、要求各被辩护人至迟今天下班前要向法院递交委托手续,并直接派工作人员打飞的前往部分辩护人所在律所送达起诉书、卷宗光盘。

种种迹象表明,本案至少在河北省层面启动了24小时应急预案,外部封口禁言,内部争分夺秒推进案件办理进程,目的是压缩一切辩护时间空间,尽快结案,法律团队原来预测此案会在七一前一审宣判,但现在看来,河北方面是铁定了要赶在七一前完成二审宣判。

据内部工作人员透露,此案公诉及审判阵容强大,高碑店市人民检察院检察长、高碑店市人民法院院长都将亲自参与庭审,担任公诉人及审判长。


Related:

10 Questions and Answers Concerning the Dawu Case, Dawu legal team,  April 4, 2021.

Sun Dawu: A Chinese Agricultural Entrepreneur’s 36-year Dream in the Era of Reform and Opening Up (Part One), Yaxue Cao, March 30, 2021.

Sun Dawu: A Chinese Agricultural Entrepreneur’s 36-year Dream in the Era of Reform and Opening Up (Part Two), Yaxue Cao, April 2, 2021.

4 responses to “Latest Development of the Dawu Case: Charges Brought to Court”

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