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New Developments in Lawsuit Against Jiang Zemin in Australia (Photos)

July 01, 2010 |   By a Clearwisdom correspondent in Sydney, Australia

(Clearwisdom.net) On June 28, 2010, the case in which Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhang Cuiying is suing former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, and the 610 Office for the crime of torture was heard in the New South Wales Supreme Court. Ms. Zhang's lawyers argued that the court should not issue diplomatic immunity for Jiang based on the principles of international law. The three judges asked Ms. Zhang's lawyers to submit written materials with more information on the issue within a week and allow the defendants' lawyers seven days to respond.

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Plaintiff Zhang Cuiying

Ms. Zhang: The Chief Culprits Must Be Punished by Law

The plaintiff, Ms. Zhang, said after the hearing: "Our lawyers gave a powerful argument on not giving Jiang immunity. This case is supported by Falun Gong practitioners around the world. All the culprits who persecute Falun Gong practitioners must be punished by law. This case itself is part of our quest for justice."

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Australia Falun Dafa Association representative Xiao Zhonghua.

Xiao Zhonghua, a representative of the Australia Falun Dafa Association, believes that the judges are inclined to understand why diplomatic immunity should not apply in this case. "This is encouraging. We will continue to work hard so the dictator who committed the crime of torture will not be given immunity."

Ms. Sealand, who represents the plaintiffs, told the reporter that she was positive about the outcome. She believes in the Australian judicial system and will keep fighting until they win the case. "There should not be immunity for Jiang because he is no longer the Chinese leader. I hope the judges can see the importance of the case as it relates to human rights in China, Australia and the world."

Jiang Should Not Enjoy Sovereign Immunity

Theresa Chu, a human rights lawyer and spokesperson for the Global Coalition to Bring Jiang to Justice, said that human rights lawyers in China and around the world are watching closely to see whether or not the Australian court acknowledges immunity for Jiang. "All lawyers involved in the Jiang lawsuit believe that sovereign immunity should not be applied to a former leader of a country who offended international criminal law."

"Sovereign immunity based on the international law is to grant immunity for a sovereign act. No one would believe that the brutal suppression of Falun Gong practitioners carried out by Jiang and his accomplices in the 610 Office would be considered a sovereign act. How can an act which openly violates China's laws and Constitution and the international human rights treaty be called sovereign?" said Chu.

The Australia Judicial System and International Human Rights

"Whether the court issues Jiang immunity will become an important index of whether the Australian judicial system can protect international human rights," said Chu. She believes everyone is eager to see whether Australia's judicial system will issue the immunity under political and economic pressures or choose to stand on the side of justice. "The court should know why the Spanish Court indicted Jiang based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. The court should also know why an Argentina Federal Court issued an international arrest warrant for Jiang instead of immunity. These two countries have been able to look at the issue from the angle of justice."

On the day of the trial, many Falun Gong practitioners from Melbourne and Brisbane came to Sydney to support the plaintiffs.

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Falun Gong practitioners outside the court support the lawsuit

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 Falun Gong practitioners outside the court support the lawsuit

Background on the Lawsuit Against Jiang Zemin

In 2000, practitioner Ms. Zhang Cuiying went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and was imprisoned and tortured in China for eight months. The Australian government and Falun Gong practitioners worked together and rescued her back to Australia in November 2000. On September 15, 2004, Ms. Zhang filed a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin, former leader of the CCP, in the New South Wales Supreme Court for torture. When Ms. Zhang was imprisoned in Beijing, Luo Gan interrogated her in person. Because Luo is a key figure behind the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong, Luo was listed as another defendant in the lawsuit on March 5, 2007.

The New South Wales Supreme Court took the case and had many hearings. The Chinese regime attempted to influence the case many times. On September 15, 2008, the court session opened again. Two months later, the court issued Jiang and the 610 Office diplomatic immunity.

On December 17, 2009, the plaintiffs appealed and objected that the Australian government had interfered with the lawsuit. The Supreme Court took the case and decided to have parallel trials on the case and the legality of the appeal.

At least 50 lawsuits have been filed against CCP officials by Falun Gong practitioners in some 30 countries. Most of these lawsuits, including both civil and criminal cases, are against Jiang Zemin (15 countries).