Wenyuhe Court House, Chaoyang District, Beijing – 3pm.
Li Fangping was called by the Wenyuhe Court House the other day to come and view the ‘original video tape’, that which Li called for during the November 17th trial. After two months, here is the result:
We both went into the court house registration side door, and Li was allowed to go up, but not me (this happened as well before). I was expecting to be sitting in the registration again for another hour or so.
I barely had time to send a text message when Li came bouncing through the temperature control curtain which separates the outside from the inside, papers in hand and his characteristic big smile.
“What was that, why are you out already?”, i asked in Chinese, slightly confused.
“There is NO tape, it doesn’t exist anymore!!”, replied Li.
We got in my car and drove away, and on the way he explained what the papers explain, which he was able to carry out with him. According to a Mr. Zhao (a 31 year old male clerk), the Jiuxianqiao Police Station installed brand new video cameras, to replace the old ones, in mid to late July, 2010, so ALL of the footage before early July is not available, in fact, it doesn’t exist anymore. This is despite the fact that one of the policies of these video cameras to hold footage for 6 months, specifically for court case requests, etc. Ok, fine. As for the hand held video original tape evidence, the police claim that that which was shown in court on the 17th of November IS the original, so there is no other tape available.
All of that as explanation took the Police Station and Government TWO MONTHS to come up ? Really, guys and gals, you could have done better than this, seriously…
Anyway, we are now waiting for the court to inform Li Fangping when the trial continuation date will take place. Li is expecting now the court to resume over the Chinese New Year, conveniently when everyone – myself and Hannah, Li Fangping and many journalists – will be ‘conveniently’ missing from Beijing. It just seems to never end …