Days off cancelled in bid to speed up trial

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 October, 1998, 12:00am

Judges, lawyers and judiciary officers have lost their days off this week in an attempt to speed up the 'Big Spender' trial.

Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court, which usually closes at the weekend, will continue sitting today and is expected to do so tomorrow.

The sittings are a rarity in Guangzhou, where government officials and others are not known for working extra shifts at weekends or overtime during the week.

It is understood the central Government instructed that the trial should be completed as soon as possible.

A Guangzhou lawyer said: 'It's not the first time Guangzhou courts have had to work on holidays. But it is certainly not usual practice here.

'This case is very complicated. It involves so many suspects and is expected to last a long time. For continuity of the hearing, the court will continue hearing on holidays.' It is thought the trial will be completed next week. Adjudicators are required to deliver a verdict in two weeks.

After that, the defendants are allowed 10 days to appeal.