The controversial retrial of a blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng kicked off Monday, Reuters reported. An appeals court overturned an August conviction for Chen, who was sentenced to four years and three months in jail on charges of damaging property and disrupting traffic during a protest near his home in a Shandong province. Chen's lawyers were detained and accused of theft during the first trial and stand-in lawyers that barely knew the case represented him. The hearing Monday was held behind closed doors in Yinan County People's Court. One of Chen's lawyers, Teng Biao, was forced by police into a van, which drove away, Reuters reported, quoting villagers who declined to be named.