The trial of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four was held in Beijing from late 1980 to early 1981. It goes without saying that the event was unique in that current authorities were now deciding the fate of those who used to rule in the past. Some of the trail was broadcasted both inside and outside of China. The Chinese people gazed in awe as they saw the Gang of Four and Jiang Qing lash out against the judge on live television. The trail is one of the most famous in Chinese History.
Trial of Gang of Four
Jiang Qing maintained her innocence throughout the trail. When a man once persecuted by Jiang Qing testified against her, she adamantly defended herself. The man said, "A lot of comrades were charged with various crime, and imprisoned for no less than five years." Jiang shouted, "Don't say theatrical things. They were all natural, you know."
In her last statement, she said, "Everything is a frame-up. I don't understand this trial. Everyone affronts Mao Zedong, me, and even the Cultural Revolution. I am the best one who understands Chairman Mao, as his wife for thirty-eight years. When Mao triumphed, I triumphed. I am the woman who accompanied him during the past. And where have you all gone then?" Jiang shouted, but her cries couldn't be heard over the load laughter coming from audience.
She of course was found guilty and sentenced to death. The entire audience applauded the judgement, and was pleased to finally see some justice. In the end however, she had her sentence reduced to life in prison. After the trial she was put under house arrest. She committed suicide in Beijing on May 14, 1991.
She kept insisting on her innocence over trials.
Yao Wenyuan received a sentence of twenty-years in prison. He was released from prison in 1996. Wang Hongwen was sentenced to life in prison for the crime of conspiring to overthrow the people's democracy, and for organizing and leading an anti-revolutionary group. He died of an illness on 3 August 1992. Zhang Chunqio was, at first, sentenced to death, but soon also had his sentence reduced to life in prison. As far as Lin Bio concerned, although he was a principal leader, he was not charged with any crime, seeing as he was dead.
"Encyclopedia of the Cultural Revolution." Doglin Chen. (China Book)
"Brief History of the Cultural Revolution" Xi XuanEJin Chunfsming translated by Gorou Kisida and the others (Chuou Koron-sha)