Mo Huanjing stands trial at Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court on Feb 1, 2018, on suspicion of setting a fire which led to the deaths of four people. [Photo/China Daily]
Mo Huanjing, a nanny accused of setting a fire and causing the death of her female employer and the employer's three children, stood trial at Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court, Zhejiang province, on Thursday.
Mo is accused of setting a fire in a downtown apartment in Shangcheng district, Hangzhou, on June 22, leading to the death of her employer Zhu Xiaozhen and Zhu's three children aged 6, 8 and 11.
The verdict is still pending and the case will be determined after submittal to the judicial committee of the court, according to a court news release.
Mo expressed her remorse after initial judicial debate, saying she didn't mean to hurt the victims and was deeply sorry. She pleaded guilty in court in hopes of getting a lighter sentence.
The trial focused on Mo's motivation for setting the fire, accusations from others as well as the ultimate sentence, and also mentioned the amount of responsibility property management should hold as well as the condition of firefighting equipment maintenance within the community.
Lin Shengbin, husband of the victim, shouted and threw his thermos cup and microphone stand at Mo during the court proceedings, but accidentally hit a court police officer in the head. He was led out of the courtroom for violating court rules.
Lin said he had demanded Mo be sentenced to death.
Two experts－Wu Heyuan and Liu Xuexiang from the Ministry of Public Security and Hangzhou Technical Committee for Fire Prevention－were present and testified in court, explaining issues concerning fire rescue and firefighting equipment, as doubts on firefighting work capabilities were raised in the investigation.
Lin blamed the slow response of firefighters and the lack of fire-prevention facilities by the property management committee of his apartment building.
Mo was appointed two new defense attorneys－Wang Xiaohui from Zhejiang Brighteous Law Firm and Xu Xiaoming from Beijing Dongwei Law Firm－by the court after her previous defense lawyer Dang Linshan walked out during the first trial on Dec 22 for failing to have the hearing moved to another court.
The hearing was suspended as Dang's move was taken as a refusal to defend his client. He was then put under investigation and was disciplined for breaking court rules.