Trial takes place amid unprecedented security as special police with dogs block streets in 1km radius of courthouse
By Mimi Lau
South China Morning Post
Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:31 p.m.
Security for the trial in Foshan was described as unprecedented for a low-level corruption case. Photo: Mimi Lau
The elected leader of Wukan village in southern China, Lin Zuluan, famous for its anticorruption protests five years ago, was sentenced to three years and one month in jail and fined 200,000 yuan for receiving bribes on Thursday, a family member told The South China Morning Post.
The court in Foshan, near Guangzhou, found Lin not guilty of a separate charge of rigging bids for official contracts.
Ultra-tight security was in place outside the court and in surrounding streets as Lin’s trial took place.
The heavy police presence planned for a corruption case involving a village official was unprecedented.
Uniformed and plain clothes police patrolled an area of about 1km around Foshan Chancheng district court. Special police with dogs blocked surrounding streets. Drivers and passengers were asked for identification and all vehicles were barred from parking in the patrolled zone.
The court’s main entrances were blocked by temporary construction barriers and outsiders including civilians who wanted to enter the court for other matters were turned away.
Security for Lin’s trial was even tighter than for the subversion trial of Guangzhou rights lawyer Tang Jingling earlier this year in the city’s Intermediate People’s Court.
During Tang’s trial, civilians and court officials were still allowed to enter the courthouse while reporters were only barred within 10 metres of the building.
A source close to Lin’s family said the “family felt like they were trapped” and that the family had cooperated with the government over the matter. Because of this, they thought that he would have given a suspended sentence and be reunited with the family for the mid-Autumn festival on September 15.
A Chinese man that witnessed the trial called the proceedings a “Kangaroo Court.”
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Credit Lan Hongguang/Xinhua, via Associated Press
Tags: 200 000 yuan fine, 5 years in jail, anticorruption protests, China, Foshan Chancheng district court, human rights, kangaroo court, land seizures, Lin Zuluan, low-level corruption case., rule of law in China, the family cooperated with the government hoping to get a lighter sentence, Wukan village