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China Announces Trial Date
at Last Moment

2nd Hearing for Newsman, 3 Aid Workers on May 22nd

Sudden Upsurge of World Interest in Unpublicized Trial

Earlier this month, we emailed journalists a copy of the formal letter we addressed to the Minister of Justice in China urging a fair trial for the photojournalist and three humanitarian aid workers being detained.

Following that mailing, there has been an upsurge of interest in the next session of the open trial.

On the afternoon of May 20, we learned that the second session will be held on May 22 in Yantai China People's Court, the same court as before. However, we do not currently know the time the trial is to begin. Neither the defendants' lawyers nor the Korean Vice-Consul has been informed of the time, or even whether the trial will be morning or afternoon.

Considering the extremely short notice for the trial date, and with the time still undisclosed, we must assume that the Chinese authorities are hoping to avoid the presence of journalists or other interested parties at the court. A verdict, however, is likely to be handed down at this second session.

On a side note, Mr. Choi's wife still has not been permitted to speak with his lawyer, nor to pass along his medications for hypertension, diabetes and asthma.

We solicit your interest and support in securing a fair trial for these defendants from the January Boat People incident. Your appearance at court would be greatly appreciated. This is an open court, and anyone who wishes to sit in at the court should be able to enter the court room and witness the entire proceedings.

For your reference, the four defendants' names are:
  Choi Yong-hun
  Seok Jae-hyun
  Park Yong-ho
  Jo Yong-sun

Kenkichi Nakadaira
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees
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