Bishop James Edward Walsh,the 79-year-old former American Bishop of Shanghai who was released by the People's Republic of China after twelve years imprisonment last week, gave his first press conference on Thursday (July 16).
MV Walsh wheeled in
GV Press PAN Walsh
SV&CU Walsh speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 3: WALSH: "I am very happy to be free once again. I never thought I would ever see the day of my release. I felt that I would not live long enough to complete my sentence of twenty years and that I would die in prison. It is a bit hard for me to believe now that I have been released. I have no bitterness towards those who tried and condemned me. I just could never feel angry with any Chinese. I felt that way almost from the day I first set foot in China in 1918, and it has just grown stronger with the years even during my imprisonment. I was given..a young lawyer was appointed to be my defence attorney in the trial. The trial was held in the Municipal Courts in Shanghai - I forget the street it's on but it's in the downtown business section - and it was a very large room with the judges on the judges' bench, half a dozen of them, and the prosecuting attorney on one side of the room and defence attorney on the other and the interpreters, who translated everything into English, and then there was a large audience of some hundreds of people in the room also."
QUESTION: "Did you feel your defence lawyer did you any good?"
WALSH: "Why no, I'm sure he was a kindly good man but he admitted everything and really condemned me just as roundly as the prosecuting attorney did, saying that everything that was charged against me was, of course, true, but on the other hand since I was an old man and some of these things had happened years before, I should be given a little bit of leniency, that was what the defence consisted in."
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Background: Bishop James Edward Walsh,the 79-year-old former American Bishop of Shanghai who was released by the People's Republic of China after twelve years imprisonment last week, gave his first press conference on Thursday (July 16). The Conference was held in the Maryknoll Hospital in Hong Kong where Bishop Walsh has been resting since his release.
Bishop Walsh was arrested in 1958 and held incommunicado for 17 months before being charged with espionage and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He has spent much of his life in China, going there first as a missionary in 1918.
At the conference, the Bishop said: