A Mockery of the Law in Panzhihua Court, Sichuan Province - Lawyers Threatened and Deprived of Legal Right to Defend Client
(Clearwisdom.net) On January 12, 2010, Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Gong Shuhui had a second so-called trial in the Miyi County Court, affiliated with the Panzhihua Intermediate Court of Sichuan Province. Two lawyers, Li Jinglin and Li Subin from Beining City, were ready to defend the innocence of Ms. Gong Shuhui, when Mr. Li Subin's rights as a defense lawyer was suddenly denied by the Court. He was even openly threatened, "If you say a word for her, the officers from both the Domestic Security Department and National Domestic Security Bureau will be waiting for you outside."
Outside the Court
On January 12, 2010, before the court convened, police officers Yang Zihua, Li Xuesong, Zhou Lin and Xu Xing from the National Security Bureau, and other officials from the local police station and villages patrolled outside the court. They dispersed practitioners and others who were prepared to witness the proceedings. However, Mr. Huang Chenghui from Caochang Town and others resisted and sat down near the door to the court. Officer Xu Xing brutally kicked them and shouted, "Roll yourselves back home, otherwise you will be punished to death!" The practitioners did not move, and then another officer, Zhou Lin, started taking their photos.
No Seats for Ms. Gong Shunhui's Family Members
The trial was arranged by the court in a small room with only 18 seats, and all of the seats were assigned to three police officers and officials from the nearby town and villages. There was no room for Ms. Gong's family members.
Ms. Gong's husband, Mr. Yang Chaohong, came to the front door of
the courtroom with their teenage son, and thought they should be
allowed to attend the trial in accordance with Chinese law. However
the police refused to even let them get through the front door of
the courthouse. Mr. Yang protested that as the defendant's husband,
he has the right to attend the trial. The guards then examined his
ID, took pictures of him and then allowed him to enter the front
door. Nonetheless, he was still forcibly prevented from entering
the room where the trial was being held, claiming that the room was
already full. Not even the main witness could attend the trial.
Only those persons prearranged by the court were allowed to be
Lawyer Li Subin Deprived of the Right to Defend Ms. Gong
According to current law in China, the defendants have the right to defend themselves, and may also ask family members to retain two lawyers for their defense. The court has to respect the defendant's rights, and neither the judge nor the court should interfere. However, the judge in this case completely disregarded the rules of Chinese law, and did not allow lawyer Li Subin to defend his client in court.
When Ms. Gong Shunhui protested, "I have the right to have two lawyers for my defense," the judge stopped her from speaking.
Attorney Li Subin said, "I was entrusted to defend my client according to Chinese law, and as such, this does not need the approval of the court. A judge responded, "You have to follow the judge's arrangements inside the court." The lawyer debated, "No matter who you are, a citizen, a lawyer, or a judge, all must obey the law." The judge threatened, "You must follow a judge's words. We will not start this court session." This judge, Qin Yong, left after he said these words. In order for the trial to begin, Mr. Li Subin had to surrender his right to defend his client.
Those involved in Ms. Gong's trial were Yao Xiaosheng, the presiding judge from the Panzhihua Intermediate Court, Wang Cheng and Qin Yong as the judiciary, and the public prosecutor was Zhu Zhengfu from the Procuratorate of Miyi County.
Lawyer Li Jinglin Enters Not-Guilty Plea for Ms. Gong
The trial began at 10:30 a.m. and ended hastily around 11:30 a.m. The other lawyer, Li Jinglin, defended the innocence of Ms. Gong Shunhui rationally and solidly.
Lawyer Li Jinglin argued in his statement that outside of the
law, Yang Zihua, captain of the National Security Bureau of the
Miyi County Public Security Bureau, Li Xuesong, the deputy captain,
and police officer Zhou Lin illegally invaded Ms. Gong Shunhui's
home. It was also argued that the accusation that Ms. Gong Shunhui
undermined the implementation of law using a religious organization
was absurd, because there is no such rule of law in China. Falun
Gong practitioners advocate Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and
promote Falun Gong, which is a natural extension of freedom of
religious belief, and they comply with the constitutional principle
of freedom of speech. No government offices, social organizations
or individuals have the power to interfere. The law of the People's
Republic of China has not prohibited its existence, and it is not
reasonable to prohibit its existence.
Defense Lawyer Publicly Threatened by Judges
During the trial, Lawyer Li Jinglin stated that there is no guilt in belief, the Constitution is supreme, and there is no guilt in the belief in Falun Gong. The judge then threatened the lawyer, "You are not Chinese. You must be a Falun Gong practitioner assigned by the U.S.A." The judge even wanted to investigate his identity and then continued his threats, "If you say another word, there will be police officers outside waiting for you."
The lawyer pointed out that there are 300 provisions in the law requiring that "organizing" and "using" occur at the same time. He then stated that Chinese administration of justice is above the law, and the ones who execute the law are also the ones who break the law. He also noted that the public prosecutor is a deputy procurator, which does not conform with proper legal procedure.
When the presiding judge, Yao Xiaoshun, interrupted the lawyer's defense, the lawyer responded, "All judges should obey the Code of Criminal Procedure, the judge ethics law and the Judges' Law, to protect the rights of the innocent or the defendant. What the lawyers do is to safeguard the legitimate rights of citizens and safeguard the dignity of the law."