Five cult members stand trial for beating death

Five cult members stand trial for beating death
Police from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team stand guard outside a court during the trial of five cult members charged with murder in Zhaoyuan, Shandong province, August 21, 2014.

ZHAOYUN, China - Five people have been brought on trial at the Yantai Intermediate People's Court since 8 am, Thursday in a case where a woman was beaten to death in a McDonald's restaurant in Zhaoyuan, Shandong province.

The five defendants are Zhang Lidong, 54, his daughters Zhang Fan, 29, Zhang Hang, 18, and two other women, Lyu Yingchun, 39, and Zhang Qiaolian, 23.

All five are accused of intentional homicide, and Zhang Fan, Zhang Lidong and Lyu Yingchun are also accused of undermining the implementation of law.

The five defendants allegedly beat Wu Shuoyan to death on May 28 at a McDonald's restaurant in Zhaoyuan after Wu refused to give them her telephone number. The suspects were allegedly trying to recruit new members for their cult Quannengshen, which means "Almighty God".

Relatives of the victim asked 4 million yuan (S$813,000) for compensation and intended to have McDonald's and the junior attackers also included in the defendants.

The trial is expected to last through the day.

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