Today Lawyer Li and I headed to the Chaoyang District Court, over by the Chaoyang Park (in fact, I used to live 40 meters from that place!), and arranged to meet with Ms. Wang Yang. But, when we got there, she said that she was not at that courthouse, but at the Wenyuhe Criminal Courthouse, out in buttfuck no where … irony #2, around the corner-ish from Dawu’s first art studio … weird.
So, we arrived and they would not allow me in to join the ‘pre-trial’ meeting between judges and lawyer. Why? Turns out that the judge learned I was a foreigner and refused to meet with me, as she was unable to deal with having to answer my questions about the aspects of ‘open court’ which are so special here – more on that later! Whatever. So, I sat for over an hour in the waiting room just beside the metal detector machine. Fun. Not.
So, a brief of what was discussed inside:
1. Court date set: November 17th, 2010 at 9:30am, at the out of the way Wenyuhe Courthouse. Apparently all criminal cases are tried out in the boonies … interesting. They have a very detailed bus and transport information, however. If you want to join, call for directions: 8599 8553. If you are driving or in taxi, then you take the Louxinzhuang exit when travelling north on the second airport expressway.
2. Dawu refuses to accept the charges against him, especially that he is being accused of beating a cop. That he is consistent is great, as it supports our work and our side. Don’t derail now. In doing so, however, he will get a standard process, which is a little more lengthy than an expedited process, but not necessarily a lighter sentence if he accepted.
This also means that he will be judged by a panel (read jury?), not just one judge. But, I am sure that they already know how much he is getting and where, it is a dog and pony show, to be sure. We shall find out soon enough.
We must respect Dawu’s decision to not accept, however.
3. There is ONE witness allowed into the court along with the Lawyer. That person is probably going to be me, but I first have to apply to the highest court of Beijing/China in order to go, as I am a foreigner. Feels like another block. I probably can’t take in an interpreter, but will ask and see. If they won’t let me go in, then one of Dawu’s friends or a family member can go. I nominate Ai Weiwei to go if I can’t go. But lets first see if I can go…
I have this want to borrow a hugely expensive Prada bag and shoes and totally power dress if I get to go. Knock em out with brands and this superficial consumer rubbish that Chinese with authority are so hooked on … haha! (Anyone with a bag and size 38 shoes to lend? Alligator with teeth would be best).
4. The latest ‘official’ version of why they are charging Dawu with disrupting public service has been slightly altered. It used to say that he injured a cop when he beat the cop, a Mr. Liu Dawei. Now, according to the paper today, when he grabbed for the camera to take it out of a Mr. Liu Mo Mo’s hand (Mo Mo in Chinese means ‘ so and so’), he injured Mr. Liu’s finger. Hmm, that is an interesting twist. We shall see what happens on November 17th.
5. Tomorrow Li Lawyer and the new lawyer assistant, as only one during the court is too difficult, too tiring, are visiting Dawu again at the detention center, to ask more details according to above #4, etc. I want Li to let Dawu know recent developments, such as the Amnesty International Campaign that was launched for him, etc.
Fingers crossed I get to attend his trial after all of this … and with an interpreter would be nice!