(Clearwisdom.net) Ming Bao August 22, Special Dispatch: It has been verified by legal sources connected to the case that someone paid the fine levied against the 16 Falun Gong practitioners who were convicted of street obstruction; thus, they will not be sent to jail. Kan Hung-cheung, the Falun Gong spokesman in Hong Kong, emphasized that the practitioners did not pay the fine, so it may be possible that a concerned citizen paid it. The practitioners will continue to appeal the verdict.

A spokesperson for the legal department stated that since the individual who pays the fine only needs to provide the case name, defendants' names and documents relating to the case, and is not obligated to reveal his/her own identity, the court does not have any information about the identity of the person who paid the fine. After the court received payment it did not issue orders to jail the 16 defendants.

During last night's interview, Kan Hung-cheung refused to speculate whether the Hong Kong government paid the fine to avoid attracting the attention of the international community with news that the practitioners were put in jail. He did not exclude the possibility that the person who paid the fine might have been a concerned citizen or a Falun Gong practitioner not connected with this case who wanted to protect these accused practitioners from further persecution. He also pointed out that payment of the fine does not mean the end of this case. The practitioners will still appeal according to plan in order to restore the reputation of the practitioners involved, and to uphold social justice.

This March, 16 Falun Gong practitioners protested outside China's de facto Embassy in Hong Kong, and were arrested for "street obstruction." Last Thursday, the court handed down a guilty verdict and ordered the sixteen practitioners to pay fines of from 1,300 Yuan to 3,800 Yuan, respectively. The practitioners stated that as a matter of principle, they would not pay the fines.