Beijing, July 15 (AP) – On the same day, a court in Gaobeidian began hearing the case of Sun Dawu, chairman of Hebei Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group.
According to lawyer’s documents obtained by the Associated Press, Sun Dawu is accused of provoking trouble, gathering a crowd to storm state organs, obstructing official business, breaking production and operation, forced trading, illegal mining, illegal occupation of agricultural land, illegal absorption of public deposits and many other charges. Sun Dawu is one of the 20 defendants, and many of the other defendants are his family members. According to a written statement from his defense attorney, Sun said he was innocent and that there were “huge arguments” between the defendants and prosecutors over evidence and legal issues, but did not provide details, and the trial will continue on Friday.
The Associated Press also noted that the defendants were brought under control in August 2020 after a storm to stop the demolition. The overall health of Sun Dawu and the other defendants has been poor after months of incarceration, and attorney documents note that two of them had to leave temporarily during Thursday’s trial because they needed medical help. In addition, the trial, while public in nature, was limited to one family member per defendant to attend because of the epidemic, the Associated Press said, as well as 10 employees of Dawu who were also allowed to sit in on the trial.
Sun Dawu, 67, a native of Xushui, Baoding, Hebei, started out as a chicken and pig farmer, and has been in trouble since 2003 for repeatedly borrowing money, publishing sensitive articles on the company’s platform, and praising the company’s employees for trying to stop the demolition of buildings and praising rights lawyers. On April 26 this year, Gaobeidian public security network spokesman issued an announcement that the Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group Sun Dawu and others suspected of illegal crimes, was taken by the public security organs in accordance with the law criminal compulsory measures, the case has been investigated and completed, according to the law transferred to the Gaobeidian City People’s Procuratorate for review and prosecution.