Defense Attorney Stops Judge from Humiliating Falun Gong Practitioner in Court—The Real Story of Yang Guoguang's Illegal Trial in Tangshan City
(Minghui.org) The trial of Falun Gong practitioner Yang Guoguang started at 9:00 a.m. on August 6, 2012, at the Eighth Court of Fengrun District, in Tangshan City, Hebei Province. During the trial, Judge Xu Tianpeng viciously teased and humiliated Mr. Yang. This behavior was soon stopped by the defense attorney.
On February 25, 2012, police from Fengrun District of Tangshan forced Mr. Yang's family to call him under false pretenses to bring him home. Mr. Yang was then arrested when he returned home. After being detained for nearly six months, Mr. Yang was brought to trial in the Fengrun District. He hired an attorney to defend him. The following describes the events in court during the trial:
The trial opened on February 25, 2012. A security check was conducted at the entrance. The entrance is less than one meter wide—narrow for people to pass through. Even so, the court ordered several staff members there to stop and check visitors.
At around 8:30 a.m., 30-40 people had gathered at the entrance. A policewoman was in charge of distributing passes to the trial. Dozens of passes were given out, but only 11 were given to Mr. Yang's relatives to sit in the public gallery, which suggests that most were given to police.
The trial started at 9:20 a.m. when Judge Xu Tianpeng, in his fifties, started a series of inquiries. However, Xu's questions were not directly related to the proceedings. He only asked Mr. Yang's name, address, place of work, how long he had worked, and so on. The questioning was more like a casual chat than a formal inquiry. Yet his tone was sarcastic and his eyes carried a look of confrontation.
When Prosecutor Wu Manhua finished his opening statement, Mr. Yang's attorney requested that Mr. Yang's handcuffs be removed according to court rules. Surprisingly, Xu denied the request. Later, Mr. Yang's attorney again asked that the handcuffs be removed.
Xu responded, “You don't have the right.”
The defense attorney said, “I will make note of this.”
Then the defense attorney began to question Mr. Yang. “Why were you sentenced to a labor camp in 2000?”
Mr. Yang said, “Before practicing Falun Gong, I smoked, drank, and often fought with others. After cultivating Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, I knew how to behave like a good person, and how to contribute to society. But as I was working on my farm in 2000, I was suddenly arrested and sentenced to two years in a forced labor camp.”
At this point, Judge Xu interrupted. “Do not mislead the litigant. This has nothing to do with his case. Ask something related to this case.”
The lawyer then asked, “How were you arrested on February 25, 2012?”
Mr. Yang said, “I received a call to come back home, so I went. I saw two cars parked in front of my door. I asked the people inside, 'What are you doing here?' They told me they were personnel from a telecommunications company. Suddenly, they surrounded me and started to beat me. They took the key to my motorcycle. They beat me hard. Throughout this incident, at no time did they show any identification.”
At this time, Xu asked, “Where did you get the items we found in your home?”
Mr. Yang said, “I bought them.”
Xu asked, “Where did you buy them?”
Mr. Yang said, “I downloaded them from the Internet.”
In a tone of deep sarcasm, Xu asked, “You know how to download? Which website?”
Mr. Yang responded, “The Minghui website.”
Xu asked with sneer, “Who did you learn this from? Who taught you?”
“I taught myself.”
In an exaggerated tone of voice, Xu said, “Oh, you are so smart.”
“I just did some research.”
Xu said, “You are really—smart, really—smart.” He swung his head and spoke dramatically.
At this time, some people in the public gallery were so offended by the judge's disrespectful tone and gangster-style questioning that they uttered profanities. Mr. Yang's attorney raised his hand in protest. “Objection. Stop using humiliating words when speaking to my client.”
Xu said nothing in response.
In his final defense statement, Mr. Yang's lawyer presented a full and complete analysis to show his client obeyed all laws. Moreover, he said the court should investigate the criminal behavior exhibited by the police and National Security personnel who arrested Mr. Yang. The entire court fell into a dead silence during the defense's final summation. As he listened to the defense statement, Xu seemed dumbfounded and utterly stupefied.
At the end Mr. Yang spoke to all present in the court. “I practice Falun Gong and am innocent. I should be released immediately. I was mistreated. Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance teaches people to become good. The truth of Falun Gong will one day be known to everyone.”
After an hour, Xu announced, “We will now take a break. Yang's relatives will leave first.”
Mr. Yang's family asked, “As it's just a break and the trial will continue later, why should we leave first?”
A policeman said, “This is a recess. You just leave.”
At this time Mr. Yang's wife and son wanted to tell him that his father was severely ill and asked to see Mr. Yang for the last time. They were not allowed to speak to him as they were pushed out by police. Angry and sad, Mr. Yang's wife could only shout, “Yang Guoguang, I believe you are a good person!”