Briefing on the Sixth Day of Dawu Trial

Dawu Legal Team, July 20, 2021

The Dawu protest, led by Sun Dawu, in September 2015, following the detention of several Dawu employees but police inaction against those who had blocked the Dawu Road and smashed up Dawu properties.

The court session ended late [three days in a row]: at 23:30 the day before yesterday; at 22:30 yesterday; and at 22:40 today.

During today’s session, the prosecutors finished presenting their evidence relating to the September 14 [2015] incident and the June 21 [2020] incident, and the defense lawyers completed their cross examination of the evidence.

The trial is so exhausting it’s unbearable 

As the day’s proceedings were about to begin but the presiding judge had yet to arrive in court, collegial judges Li Jianli (李建立), He Zhigang (何志刚), and People’s Assessor Di Jing (底晶, 人民陪审员) commented that the court sessions were so long and tiring because the judges’ seats were higher than ordinary and their feet couldn’t touch the ground. A prosecutor suggested that a small stool be placed under their feet. Judge Li and others concurred that this was a reasonable suggestion. He Zhigang, a member of the collegiate panel, joked that he would ask Lawyer Wang Shihua (王誓华) to apply for his recusal so that he could get off this unbearably exhausting trial. Lawyer Wang Shihua said that it was not up to him; all he could do was request a recusal, but it’s up to the higher-ups to decide.

This is commendable

During the cross-examination, lawyer Liu Jinbin (刘金滨) read aloud part of the evidence that was not left out by the prosecutor but was beneficial to the defendant. Li Jianli, a member of the collegial panel, suggested that there should be no more reading out of the evidentiary testimonies. Lawyer Liu Jinbin stated that the defense lawyers had the right to present testimonies beneficial to the defendants. He said, “Lawyer Wang Shihua’s cross-examination lasted about 80 minutes, lawyer Zhang Peng’s (张鹏) cross-examination lasted about 30 minutes, and I only need about 15 minutes.” Li Jianli said: “Very good, this is commendable.”

Who committed the crime?

Several lawyers pointed out that the September 14 [2015] case of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” (寻衅滋事) was instigated by the “victim” Wang Suxia (王素霞) and others who set up stalls on the side of the Dawu Road to sell swimsuits, and which led to multiple traffic accidents and two deaths. In order to clear the roadside stalls, [the Dawu Co.] asked them to move to a safer location that did not obstruct traffic. Wang Suxia and others were unhappy, and lay down in the middle of the road and blocked the traffic. Witnesses said that a pregnant woman in labor was blocked on the road. When she asked to get though, someone shouted: “Don’t let her pass, it’s better to kill both the mother and the baby. Let’s see what Sun Dawu will do about that!”

Lawyer Liu Jinbin and Lawyer Zhou Haiyang (周海洋) believed that it could be indisputably established based on evidence that Sun Dawu (孙大午) and other Dawu employees never “picked quarrels or provoked trouble” but that people blocking the road committed the crime of “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order” (聚众扰乱社会秩序) and “gathering a crowd to disrupt the course of traffic” (聚众扰乱交通秩序). Either Article 290 or 291 of the Criminal Law fit their crime. Since the statute of limitations period for these crimes has not yet expired, Lawyer Zhou Haiyang suggested that the court and the procuratorate should courageously take responsibility by handing over the above-mentioned criminal leads to the relevant departments for action in order to maintain a good business environment in Baoding.

There are things I don’t want to talk about

Lawyer Liu Jinbin presented evidence that indicated there was a precedent of Wang Suxia, the “victim” in the September 14 [2015] incident, doing the same thing: On August 12, 2014, she lay on the ground in the middle of the road and blocked traffic; she also had scuffled with the police officers at the scene, but was not dealt with.

Sun Dawu said: “Wang Suxia and several other people in Langwuzhuang village who instigated villagers to block the road using the village’s loudspeaker system were not held accountable. The Dawu staff had no choice but to demonstrate and march to express their dissatisfaction. After the demonstration, the public security bureau only detained three villagers but did not detain Wang Suxia. However, the three detainees did not serve the full terms of their sentences, and were released from the detention center early.” Sun Dawu also said, “Wang Suxia’s daughter’s Li Min’s (李敏)’s husband and Zhang Baojun (张宝军) had come to the Dawu Group and smashed up things. But the public security bureau only dealt with Zhang Baojun, not Li Min’s husband. Doesn’t this show that Wang Suxia’s family has protection from the authorities? There are things I don’t want to talk about! This is obviously a criminal gang.”

“Yes, sir!” [said lawyer Wang Shihua.]

Dawu fertilizers.

In the afternoon, the court began its investigation into the alleged June 21 [2020] incident of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

When answering a lawyer’s question, Sun Dehua (孙德华) stated that the room he was detained in during RSDL had no windows, and that he was only let out for some fresh air after the Spring Festival, before which he had not seen a ray of sunshine. Sun Dehua insisted that the land disputed between Langwuzhuang (郎五庄) village and Baoding (保定) State Farm should be resolved in favor of Langwuzhuang village. It was only because various government departments did not cooperate in the process of obtaining evidence that the village could not win the [land ownership] lawsuit. Left with no other choice, they tried to “get out in front of” the state farm and plant corn on the disputed land.

When lawyer Wang Shihua asked Sun Dehua whether he thought it was right to “move ahead,” Sun Dehua said: “I asked the higher ups who said that it’s legitimate to try to get the land back but it has to be done in accordance with the law and regulations. The Beijing lawyers we had engaged looked for supporting evidence everywhere, but the various government departments did not cooperate and the lawyers gave up.” The judge asked Sun Dehua to “answer directly whether it is right or wrong!” Sun Dehua shouted: “Right!” Lawyer Wang Shihua praised Sun Dehua: “Yes, sir! That’s correct!”

A very skillful testimony

Xu Laifu [许来福, a defendant] testified that he indeed had notified several people to go to the corn planting site as instructed by his boss. They stood about 100 meters away from the planting area, and they didn’t do or say anything. Later, he drafted a “lease agreement” per the instructions of Sun Meng (孙萌), Sun Dawu’s eldest son [and Chairman of Dawu Group].

Lawyer Wang Shihua asked Xu Laifu: “You did not speak or do anything on the field. Do you think you have committed a crime?”

Xu Laifu: “Lawyer Wang, I’ll answer this question later. Can you please ask me the next question?”

Lawyer Wang Shihua: “You drafted a lease agreement per Sun Meng’s instructions. Do you think you committed a crime?”

Xu Laifu: “First, at the pretrial meetings, I intuitively felt that I did something wrong, although I don’t understand it from a legal perspective. I believe that the court and the procuratorate will give me fair and just treatment. Second, with regard to the crime of obstructing officials in the discharge of their duties, I am of the same opinion. At the time, I thought it was no big deal. People from the hot springs resort also went to the corn planting site, but they were not pursued legally. Doesn’t this indicate that my actions weren’t serious? Third, I’ve said these words premised on my admission of guilt and acceptance of punishment.”

“Even though people say that the law has no mercy, can you consider my situation within the limits of the law? My father died in a car accident. The year before last year, my older brother lost his ability to work due to a brain tumor, and my nephew died from an illness. The family now relies solely on me to make money and survive. A home is a small nation, and the nation is a large home. Don’t bring tragedy to my family, to society, and to the country by sentencing me to jail. I hope the court will seriously consider my family’s situation,”  Xu Laifu said.

The presiding judge Jia Shihu (贾士辉) said: “A very skillful testimony. You expressed yourself well without offending Lawyer Wang.”

A concerted campaign to nail Sun Dawu? A fake document?

Sun Dawu said: “Most of the witnesses’ testimonies are lies, just to get Sun Dawu.”

Sun Dehua [Sun Dawu’s younger brother and the General Manager of Dawu Group] said: “The testimonies of the cadres of the two committees [Langwuzhuang Village Committee and Lanngwuzhuang Communist Party Committee] are all false. Yang Xueming [杨学明, Langwuzhuang Party Committee Chair] planned and directly orchestrated the advance corn planting tactic. I had a conflict with Sun Dawu, and we were never in direct contact with each other. I have never been to Sun Dawu’s office alone. It was always Yang Xueming who took me there.”

Lawyer Wang Nan (王楠) said: “Without Yang Xueming, there would be no June 21 incident. Without the June 21 incident, there would have been no August 4th incident of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble,’ and subsequently no ‘obstructing officials in the discharge of their duty,’ nor ‘gathering a crowd to assault state organs,’ and there would have been no Dawu case. Yang Xueming must testify.”

Lawyer Wang Shihua said: “In the case file, the map attached to the land use contract was dated April 3, 2018, the date it was drawn, and the map’s verification date is April 3, 2017. How could the verification date be earlier than the drawing date? This is obviously a fake document!”

Lawyer Wang Nan also pointed out that there were large passages of copy-and-pasting in the transcripts of witnesses Ma Jianhua (马建华), Lian Jiao (连娇), Yao Weiwei (姚伟伟), and Li Song (李松). The investigators clearly produced forged evidence.

Sun Dehua said: “If the authorities blatantly falsified evidence, how can this trial proceed?”

Dawu Legal Team

July 20, 2021

Translated by China Change from 大午案庭审第六日简报


Briefing on the Fifth Day of Dawu Trial, Dawu Legal Team, July 19, 2021.

Briefing on the Fourth Day of Dawu Trial — ‘I Want to Dig a Window’, Dawu Legal Team, July 18, 2021. 

Briefing on the Third Day of Dawu Trial, Dawu Legal Team, July 17, 2021.

Briefing on the Second Day of Dawu Trial, Dawu Legal Team, July 15, 2021.

Briefing on the First Day of Dawu Trial, Dawu Legal Team, July 15, 2021.

Latest Development of the Dawu Case: Charges Brought to Court, Dawu Legal Team, May 12, 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.

5 responses to “Briefing on the Sixth Day of Dawu Trial”

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