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Kidnap suspect's lawyers seek delay

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-26 07:16

Lawyers representing former University of Illinois graduate student Brendt Christensen plan to request that his trial be delayed so they can prepare their defense. Christensen, 28, is charged with kidnapping visiting Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying, who remains missing and is presumed dead.

Christensen's trial was set to begin on Sept 12. But Evan Bruno, one of three lawyers representing him, said on Thursday that they plan to file a motion asking the court to push the date back.

Bruno said they needed more time to review the huge amount of evidence received from the government - more than 1,000 pages of police reports from federal and state law-enforcement, along with several terabytes of video.

"We've already got some of the evidence from two weeks ago, but there is a lot more evidence that we have not received yet; they are not ready to be delivered to us," said Bruno, adding that the pretrial hearing set for Monday, when Christensen makes his fourth appearance at the federal courthouse in Urbana, would be very simple and brief.

The US Attorney's Office said it had no objection to the defense's request and agreed that it's to be expected in a case with this amount of evidence, according to Fox News.

"I anticipate the judge will address our motion to continue on Monday, and the government will indicate they don't object to the motion," said Bruno. "Then the judge will reschedule the trial date, maybe one or two months away."

Wang Zhidong, a lawyer representing the Zhang family, said a delay was to be expected.

"That's typical in any case where there is a lot of evidence to go through," Wang said.

Zhang was last seen on June 9.

Zhang Ruinan in New York contributed to this story.

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