China / Society

Lawyers in Li Tianyi trial punished

By CAO YIN ( Updated: 2014-03-06 19:32

Six lawyers involved in the case of Li Tianyi, the son of a famous Chinese military singer, have received disciplinary punishment, the website of Legal Daily reported on Thursday.

Li Tianyi, the child of Li Shuangjiang, the well-known military singer, was sentenced to 10 years for gang rape at Beijing Haidian District People's Court in September.

Li, 17, and four others were convicted of raping a woman in a hotel after drinking the whole night in a bar.

Four of the defendants in the case were minors, and Li got the heaviest sentence because he did not plead guilty, saying he was sleepy at the time and did not know what happened at the hotel.

As the high-profile minor criminal case was being heard, seven lawyers who provided services for the defendants, were also chastised for disclosing and broadcasting unconfirmed information to the public.

Later, the Beijing Lawyers Association started an investigation into the behavior of the lawyers, asking them to think twice before speaking out or commenting on the case, the report said.

The association also required them to be discreet in talk with media, the report said.

The association made the decision to give disciplinary punishments to six of the attorneys, publicly criticizing them, according to the report.

The association also revised the related section of the lawyers' rules, ordering attorneys not to use media to disturb judicial work, not to distort cases and not to release trial information, the report said.

The association added that it would strengthen its management of lawyers and improve the disciplinary punishment system this year, the report said.

The case occurred in February last year and Li's name was released at that time.

Before the trial, Li's lawyers posted online that Li was innocent and viewed the case as prostitution, which angered the complainant's attorney. The two sides later had a debate online. Many details about the defendants and the victim were disclosed, and some specific processes in the trial were also released by the lawyers.

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