University of Utah adjunct law professor Cole Capener on the Rio Tinto verdict:
"The primary purpose of a trial in the Chinese system is not to determine guilt or innocence of the defendant. It is to impose a sentence. If that sounds like there is a presumption of guilt, you would be almost right. It’s actually more than a presumption. The prosecutor (procurator in China) first must present evidence of guilt to the Court. This is done ex parte–meaning without the knowledge or involvement of the defendant or his/her lawyers. The Court must be satisfied that the evidence supplied by the prosecutor is sufficient to establish the guilt of the defendant. If it is not, then the Court will direct the prosecutor to go get more evidence. Once the Court is supplied with enough evidence to its satisfaction–again, without the defendant having any right to challenge such evidence–then, and only then, is the trial commenced. The acquital rate in China is near or at 0% in cases brought to trial. So to ask whether justice was served in any Chinese criminal case is to ask the wrong question."
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