"I did as Lin Biao told me," former Air Force Commander Wu Faxian told a special court trying Jiang Qing and nine others in what is called the case of the Lin Biao and Jiang Qing counterrevolutionary cliques.
General Wu, one of the 10 defendants, is charged, among other things, with participating in a Lin Biao plot to assassinate Mao Tse-tung and carry out an armed coup d'etat in 1971. The plot failed and Mr. Lin, then defense minister and Mao's heir apparent, was killed in a plane crash while trying to flee to the Soviet Union.
It appears the defendants are being called to testify one by one instead of sitting together in the dock, Monitor correspondent Takashi Oka reports. General Wu is one of five defendants being interrogated by a second tribunal, whose specific task is to try the military defendants.
Miss Jiang, the star defendant, will likely have her turn later in the week. She will appear before the first tribunal, which is hearing charges against the civilian defendants. Its opening session is expected Nov. 24.
Public reaction to the trial, as seen on television, has varied. Some Chi nese who watched TV in public places say viewers got excited and angry at Miss Jiang for her hauteur. Others said that whatever her past crimes, she showed "spirit" in her first public appearance in four years.