SHANGHAI -- Yang Jia, a jobless Beijing man who intruded into Shanghai police bureau and killed six officers, stood on the second trial here on Monday, appealing against the death penalty handed down earlier by a Shanghai court.
Lawyer Zhai Jian, who was appointed by the Shanghai Higher People's Court to defend Yang at the second trial, said that his defendant's fate would be largely on the new round of forensic psychiatric assessment at the trial.
Yang Jia, 28, was sentenced to death on September 1 in the first trial at the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court for killing six officers and injuring four others in the assault on July 1.
The court ruled Yang had perfect capacity for criminal responsibility according to a forensic psychiatric assessment conducted by a qualified and specialized institute entrusted by the police. But it didn't give a specific name of the institute.
The higher court appointed renowned criminal lawyer Zhai Gang to replace Yang's former lawyer Xie Youming at the trial, though Yang's father wrote to the court to oppose the appointment.
Zhai said that the defendant himself refused to accept the lawyers recommended by his father. The court reached him to take the lawsuit through the municipal legal aid center.
Zhai, widely acclaimed as one of the best criminal lawyers in China, is also deputy director of the Criminal Committee of the China Lawyers Association.
He said that he had made face-to-face talks with Yang for three times.
"I want to defend Yang by convincing the court that Yang is mentally abnormal," said Zhai before the trial.
He said that Yang's inexplicable behavior to kill the policemen who were complete strangers to him suggested the possibility that he might have psychiatric diseases.
Yang stabbed a security guard at the police branch in Zhabei District and started a fire at its gate, before forcing his way into the building and attacking nine police officers, according to the prosecution. Six police died. Three others and the security guard were injured.
Yang was apprehended at the scene and confessed to the killings, the prosecution said.
Yang's father Yang Fusheng and aunt Wang Jingrong appeared in the public gallery of the court on Monday. The trial is continuing.