(Clearwisdom.net) On August 7, 2006, a pre-trial meeting was held again for the cases in which police charged Falun Gong practitioners in Singapore. Because of doubts of the justness of Singapore’s judicial system and high cost of legal fees, the practitioners decided to defend themselves.

Around the time that Li Lanqing, former head of CCP’s 610 Office, visited Singapore in July, a series of incidents against Falun Gong practitioners in Singapore occurred, such as attempting to dispel practitioners and restricting practitioners’ truth-clarification activities. Singapore police charged practitioners twice.

Nine practitioners distributing flyers last October were charged with "assembly without permit".

Three practitioners protesting the persecution in front of the Chinese Embassy on July 20, 2006 were charged with "harassment by displaying insulting writings - with common intention".

The pre-trial meeting on July 28 decided the trial date for the cases, but there were further changes after that. The court held another pre-trial meeting on August 7. The "assembly without permit" case was split into two cases. Five of the nine practitioners will appear on court from September 25 to 29. The trial of the other four practitioners is postponed to October and no final date is set yet.

The three practitioners in the "harassment by displaying insulting writings - with common intention" case will appear on court as scheduled, August 28 to September 1.

From forced self-defense to self-defense by choice

At the pre-trial meeting on July 28, the defense counsel gave up defense for the eight practitioners because the judge did not allow more time for the counsel to prepare. Later the judge changed his mind and proposed more time for counsel to prepare. The practitioners involved had by then decided to defend themselves in court.

Why did the practitioners change their minds? They said they made the decision after careful thought.

One of the defendants, Ms. Huang Chay Hua said that she was charged in the 2004 beach park case. Five of them practiced the exercises and two others distributed flyers. There was no "assembly," but the police charged them with "assembly without permit". Though she spent 80,000 Singapore dollars to recruit an attorney and put long time into a defense, the judge at the trial made an unfair ruling without sufficient evidence. Later, the grand judge emphasized that "Singapore is a small country" and cannot influence large countries and rejected the appeal. The unfair ruling and the highest fine were not changed. "I was very disappointed." Ms. Huang said.

Another practitioner in the case, Dr. Wang Yuyi, insisted on not having a lawyer from the beginning. She said, "It is not the first time the Singapore government has charged us. We recruited lawyers the previous two times and spent lots of effort for the 2004 case, but the result was not in our favor. The point is that it has nothing to do with whether we had a permit or not. The police who charged us are not the ones who made the decisions. The key person is behind the scene. In such a case, what can you even with the best lawyers?"

Defendant You Xin said that the legal fees are simply daunting. Considering Singapore’s judicial system and the government manipulation of the lawsuit, having a lawyer has no effect on the final outcome of the case. "Since the persecution of Falun Gong began, Singapore media have carried reports of CCP slander of Falun Gong. Many people misunderstand Falun Gong. I think it is more meaningful to spend the money on telling more local people about the CCP’s live organ removal from Falun Gong practitioners. Many people don’t know the facts because Singapore media is under government control."