Cao Dong's Sentence Was Based on a Deceitfully Induced Confession
(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Cao Dong was sentenced to five years of imprisonment before the 2007 Chinese New Year. Defense lawyers said that the only evidence was a false confession from Mr. Cao.
Mr. Cao Dong met with Edward McMillan-Scot, the European Parliament's Vice President, on May 21, 2006. Mr. Cao told the Vice President about the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Two hours after the meeting, National Security Division agents arrested Mr. Cao. Personnel from the Chinese Ministry of National Security and from the 610 Office thought "it was too sensitive an issue to persecute Mr. Cao in Beijing," so they transferred him to Gansu Province National Security Bureau and the Judiciary Department in September.
Mr. Cao's defense lawyer, Mr. Ma Guangjun said in the second trial, "The original verdict was all based on the evidence that was obtained from the written record when the police interrogated Mr. Cao on September 14, 2006. Cao Dong said in the first trial that the reason he acknowledged that he had sent eight articles to the Minghui website is because personnel from the National Security Bureau told him if he acknowledged it, they would release him. So Mr. Cao acknowledged it in order to regain his freedom."
Since Mr. Cao's arrest on May 21, 2006, personnel from Beijing Security Bureau frequently deceived him by saying that his case was not a serious one and the verdict would totally depend on his attitude. Mr. Cao's case was transferred to Gansu Province Security Bureau and personnel there continued to deceive him by saying that he would definitely not be sentenced to prison as long as he acknowledged that it was he who had reported the persecution of practitioners in Qingyang City. So Mr. Cao selected eight articles from the Minghui website published from June 2005 to November 2005 and claimed he had written all those reports. Afterwards, Mr. Cao hoped he would be released as soon as possible.
When Mr. Cao found he had been deceived upon his arrest on September 30, 2006 he immediately withdrew the confession. Two witnesses would like to testify in court. They are practitioner Mr. Liu Zhirong's wife, Ms. Chang Xiuling, and practitioner Kou Chuangjin, who had just been released after three and a half years of imprisonment. Qingyang City Intermediate People's Court deputy chief Lu Yanhong addressed three points to Dr. Ma, the defense lawyer for Mr. Cao: 1. All the vouchers are from Falun Gong practitioners. Personnel from the Review Bureau need to examine "whether their testimonies are believable or not"; 2. Interrogation Committee members would determine whether the case would be an open trial or not; 3. The trial date would be scheduled later.
Deputy chief judge Lu Yanghong said the verdict of five years imprisonment was too light. She thought Mr. Cao should be sentenced to more than seven years because he had connections with overseas Falun Gong practitioners, as indicated by his having admitted to providing eight articles for the Minghui website.
Mr. Cao's parents are now worried that their son could be sentenced to even longer imprisonment.
April 11, 2007