Attorneys for Falun Gong Practitioners Wang Bo and Her Parents Have Requested an Open Retrial
(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Gong practitioners Wang Bo and her parents who live in Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province, were secretly sentenced to jail terms in November 2006. Because the Communist authorities did not inform their family members about their arrest and trial, they had no lawyers to defend them. Recently, the family managed to hire lawyers who jointly requested the Shijiazhuang Intermediate Court to process the appeal openly and overturn the unlawful sentences passed in the initial trial.
According to a report from Radio Free Asia (RFA) on March 22, Ms. Wang Bo and her parents were subjected to brainwashing due to their belief in Falun Gong. In April 2002, her family appeared in the CCTV program, "Focal Point." The CCP set them up as a "model" for "reformation through education." In 2005, they told the outside world how the CCTV had tarnished Falun Gong by editing and distorting what they had said. In July 2006, Ms. Wang and her parents were arrested. She was sentenced to four years in prison and her parents to five years by the Chang District Court of Shijiazhuang City. In February 22, RFA called a relative of Ms. Wang and learned that family members had not been informed about their arrest and the subsequent trial. Consequently, they were not able to hire any lawyers.
According to a recent news report posted on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website, Wang Bo and her parents have now hired a total of six lawyers to defend them. The lawyers, all from Beijing, are: Li Heping and Li Xiongbing from Gaobolonghua Attorneys Office; Teng Biao from Huayi Law Office; Wu Hongbin from Haiming Law Office; Zhang Lihui and Li Shunzhang from Guogang Law Office.
RFA contacted attorneys Li Heping and Teng Biao on March 21. Both of them indicated that they could not accept interviews. Teng Biao said: “I can't accept interviews at this stage of the lawsuit.”
Reportedly, these lawyers have managed to meet representatives from the Shijiazhuang Intermediate Court and resubmitted an appeal letter cosigned by all six lawyers. In the letter, they requested that the Court review the case and either correct mistakes made in the initial trial or order Changan District Court to retrial the case in order to uphold justice and protect the defendants' rights.
Regarding this case, a Minghui reporter contacted the relative who was interviewed by RFA in February:
Reporter: Are Wang Bo's lawyers Li Heping and Li Xiongbing from Gaobolonghua Law Office?
Reporter: Are Wang Xinzhong's lawyers (Wang Bo's father) Zhang Lihui and Li Shunzhang from Guogang Law Office?
Reporter: The six lawyers found that their clients' versions of the events were greatly different from the charges. Is that correct?
Report: Do you know what the differences were?
Relative: I don't know the details.
Reporter: During the initial trial, two of the three defendants were not involved in the initial investigation because there was no concrete evidence against them. Is that right?
Reporter: Nevertheless, the Changan District Court concluded the case quickly with jail sentences. During the meeting between the lawyers and Judge Lu Ling, Pei Weihua and Liu Bin from the Intermediate Court, the judges said that the lawyers could file an appeal for their defendants.
Reporter: So these lawyers have asked the Intermediate Court to review the case openly or order the Changan District Court to retrial the case?
Relative: Something like that.
Reporter: Has the Intermediate Court given the lawyers a clear response to address their request?
Relative: Not as of now.
Reporter: Are these lawyers being pressured by government?
Relative: I believe so.
[This relative refused to identify how he is related to Wang Bo and acknowledged that he was also under huge government pressure. He said: “Right now, many things cannot be talked about.”]
Reporter: You mean you are also under pressure.
Relative: You can say so.
Reporter: What kind of pressure?
Relative: You can imagine. I cannot tell you because my cellphone is being monitored.
Reporter: How long have you been monitored?
Relative: A long time.
Reporter: Since Wang Bo was so-called brainwashed?
Reporter: Probably yes.