(Clearwisdom.net) On August 16, after a request to summon Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Wong Kan Seng to testify was declined by the Subordinate Courts, practitioners involved in the case decided to appeal to the Supreme Court and their Notice of Appeal has been received by the court. The practitioners are now awaiting the Grounds of Decision from the Subordinate Courts to decide the next step.

According to the Minghui/Clearwisdom website, on July 10, the Singapore Police decided to charge a total of nine practitioners who distributed Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials on October 22 and 23, 2005 in downtown Singapore for "Assembly without Permission." The case regarding the October 22 incident involves five practitioners, and the one on October 23 involves six practitioners; two of the practitioners were involved on both days.

On July 28, Wang Yuyi, one of the six defendants of the October 23 case, requested the Subordinate Courts to summon eight witnesses, including Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Wong Kan Seng to testify. On August 7, following legal procedures, Wang Yuyi submitted an application to the courts to summon these witnesses.

The Subordinate Courts Refuse to Issue Summon without Giving Grounds for Decision

This reporter contacted Ms. Wang Yuyi regarding her request for witnesses. According to Ms. Wang, a judge declined her request as soon as she saw the application form, stating that these witnesses are not related to the case. Later, Wang Yuyi filed another application in which she provided a report to detail how each of the witnesses was related to the case. However, her application was again not approved.

Ms Wang recalled:

"At the beginning, the judge asked if all the witnesses were present at the site on October 23 2005. I said "no." The judge then said that they are then not related to the case. I asked the judge, "Is that true that witnesses must be present at the site?" She said "no." I then asked her to momentarily skip this issue and read my application carefully.

"After reading my application, she still said 'no.' However, she refused to give the grounds for her decision. I saw her concern and asked: 'Is my reason for summoning witnesses not convincing or are you feeling it difficult to handle because these witnesses have special social position?' The judge said that when summoning witnesses, the Singapore courts only look at the evidence and never consider witnesses' social position.

In the end, the judge said that she would allow me to revise my request and submit it again. I told her that it would be meaningless as she couldn't give any concrete comments and thus I didn't know how to revise it."

Brief Explanation of the Reason to Summon Singapore High Officials

Regarding why she wants to summon Lee Kuan Yew to testify, Wang Yuyi said: "For so many years, we have heard from the police officers and officials from government departments that they have no other way, but only follow the order from the higher authorities; therefore, we hope that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng and others could clarify all this in court."

Reportedly, Lee Kuan Yew has been promoting trade cooperation between China and Singapore for many years. In addition, lawsuits against Falun Gong practitioners often happened when he had frequent contacts with senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). For example, in April 2004, two practitioners were charged for an activity which had taken place 15 months before. During that period, Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had each visited China, and the media the also reported on several commercial cooperative projects between the two countries. This lawsuit against the nine practitioners was initiated during former head of the 610 Office Li Lanqing's visit to Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew arranged Li's trip to Singapore and the presentation of an honorary degree to Li from the National University of Singapore.

On January 23 and July 14, 2006, respectively, Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng told the media about the Singapore government's reason, plan and determination to sue some Falun Gong practitioners. He stated: "The police will take proper action to enforce the laws." The practitioners involved in this case believe that the subsequent actions against practitioners were apparently because he is in charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The other witnesses summoned by Ms. Wang Yuyi are from the Police Operations Department and the Tanglin Police Division. They all had direct contact with the practitioners and some had multiple contacts.

Wang Yuyi said: "If all the witnesses testify at the courts, you will see how the Singapore government has arranged this lawsuit to please the Chinese Communist Party. From Lee Kuan Yew to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Police Operations Department to the Tanglin Police Division, this chain won't be complete and the whole story will have holes if any of these institutions/individuals is absent. Therefore, I insist on summoning all of them to testify."

Ms. Wang added: "I have submitted the names of six witnesses. There are two or three more who were police officers on duty during the incident. I am trying to obtain their names so that I can submit them."

First Time in Singapore History

Regarding this summon request, human rights attorney M. Ravi commented: "This is the first time in Singapore history that civilians have appealed to the Supreme Court in order to summon key political figures."

Ms. Wang Yuyi said a similar situation occurred when she submitted the Notice of Appeal on August 16: "The staff member at the front desk didn't dare to accept the document, saying that she had been working there for decades and this was the first time to see such an application. After consulting with a judge, she accepted the document."

Regarding this small incident, Wang Yuyi shared her opinion: "Laws are to uphold social justice, and juridical procedures shall reflect this principle. However, in the distorted Singapore juridical environment, attorneys representing human rights violation victims often tried to plead to the prosecution in order to get a lighter sentence for the defendants. On the other hand, very few lawyers ever gave thorough defense for defendants in order to dismiss those unlawful charges. Little by little, the Singapore courts have become venues for bargaining instead venues for upholding justice."

Ms. Wang reminded the public: "I just found that some existing juridical resources have been forgotten by people. When defending ourselves in this case, we shall remember and use these rights that we have been endowed with by laws."