A Chinese court on Thursday summoned a defense lawyer involved in an anti-mafia campaign in the southwest city of Chongqing to hear complaints about his jailing.
A judge with the Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court contacted Li Zhuang to hear his opinions on his case. Li presented documents to the court and the judge pledged a fair trial, court officials told Xinhua.
Li told reporters that he considers the contact "a start in the process" to address his complaint.
"The judge carefully listened to my opinions during the more than one-hour talk," he said.
This developed as Li, 51, lodged a complaint with the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) in Beijing last week over his jailing two years ago.
An official statement released last Saturday offered no details about the complaint, but said the SPP will handle Li's petition "in accordance with due procedures."
In 2010, Li was found guilty of encouraging his client Gong Gangmo, then a high-profile defendant in Chongqing's battle against underworld gangs, to lie about being mistreated while in the custody of law enforcement.
Gong was sentenced to life in prison for gang-related crimes.
Li was released in June 2011 after serving an 18-month jail term. Since then, he has been petitioning for a retrial of his case.
Chongqing launched the massive "Peaceful Chongqing" campaign in 2009, which prioritized fighting local mafia-style gangs.