January 3, 2019
The wife of detained human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang accused China’s highest-level prosecution body on Thursday of trying to shift the blame for a pretrial detention that has lasted three-and-a-half years.
Zhang Jun, chief prosecutor at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in Beijing, accused Wang’s family of “delaying” his case with frequent changes of defense attorney.
“The judiciary is acting in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law, and [Wang’s] rights are being well protected,” Zhang told journalists when asked to explain the delay.
He pointed to official media criticism of Wang’s family over their frequent changes in defense attorney, and Wang’s firing of his state-appointed lawyer at the start of his Dec. 26 trial for “incitement to subvert state power.”
But he also claimed that Wang’s move wouldn’t cause further delays.
Wang’s wife Li Wenzu said the trial was “never going to be anything other than going through the motions” and that the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court had been in breach of legal time limits for pretrial detention since her husband’s initial detention in July 2015.
Last month, Li was escorted away by unidentified security personnel after she tried to file an official complaint against the Tianjin court at the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing.