Lawyer's Eloquent Defense of Falun Gong Practitioner in Pingding County Court
(Minghui.org) On the morning of July 4, the Pingding County Court in Yangquan City, Shanxi Province held an illegal hearing against Falun Gong practitioner Zhang Jinhua. Her family hired an attorney named Zhang from Beijing to defend her. It was tense before the hearing: the court did not allow the public to be present, it would only allow ten relatives of the parties in, and more than 20 police stopped people from entering the court room.
Since July 20, 1999, there have been over 20 illegal trials of Falun Gong practitioners in Yangquan region. This was the first time that an attorney has made a legitimate defense of innocence for a Falun Gong practitioner.
Ms. Zhang Jinhua is over 60 and at the time lived in the county. On March 5, 2012, over ten people from Pingding County, Domestic Security Division 610 Office illegally entered her home, and arrested her on the excuse of finding 2000 yuan worth of paper bills with pro-Falun Gong notes on them and over 20 truth-clarification materials. They then detained her for 4 months.
During the trial, the prosecutor argued that the seized currency and truth-clarification pamphlets were picked up outside her house as evidence, and then falsely accused Ms. Zhang of “using a cult to undermine the implementation of the law.” The prosecutor then asked for a sentence of 3 to 4 years imprisonment.
Attorney Zhang argued that the truth-clarification notes were still Chinese currency, without prejudice to the circulation, and there is no law of prohibiting the flow of truth-clarification notes in China. Zhang Jinhua spent the money on her grandson twice, and it was perfectly legal. It is a citizen's right to pick up truth-clarification pamphlets outdoors and store them at home; moreover there is no law that prohibits the printing, distribution and storage of truth-clarification materials. The accused did not breach the law. The prosecutor was unable to answer.
In regards to the groundless accusation of “using a cult to undermine the implementation of the law”, attorney Zhang made it clear: The Ministry of Public Security named a list of 14 cults in 2000 that fell under this provision. This list did not include Falun Gong. China's legislature and judiciary have never ruled that Falun Gong is a cult, and there is no legal basis to link Falun Gong to a cult. Zhang Jinhua has no official title, made no contact with anyone, had no “organizational behavior”, and should be released unconditionally.
Attorney Zhang also asked the judge to come up with any relevant legal provisions, to confirm which acts this Falun Gong practitioner used to undermine the enforcement of the law. The prosecutor could not formulate a coherent reply and instead read a judicial interpretation file, which slandered Falun Gong as a cult, and then attempted to confuse and muddle the court.
However attorney Zhang immediately stated: “This file is not a legal document. The relevant laws have no such content, and the prosecutor is simply perpetrating a fraud and breaking the law.” Attorney Zhang also pointed out the illegal law enforcement procedure at the time of the incident, which included the police's failure to show a search warrant, illegally ransacking the accused's home, her subsequent arrest , and the illegal confiscation of 13,000 yuan from Ms. Zhang. Attorney Zhang pointed out that the money had nothing to do with this case, but has not been returned to her family, without any explanation. He then argued that this behavior was no different than robbery, and he requested the judiciary to immediately investigate the matter and return the money to the owner.
Faced with the lawyer's righteous defense, the courtroom was silent. The prosecutor and judges were unable to put forward any convincing arguments, and fell silent.
Zhang Jinhua righteously stated the benefits of Falun Dafa once again, and asserted that she should be free to practice Falun Gong and follow Teacher's requirements of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."
Before the trial ended, attorney Zhang sincerely said to the presiding judge, court clerk, prosecutor and police: Falun Gong practitioners are not guilty, but the persecutors are committing crimes. In the end many of the judicial police and staff gave Zhang a thumbs up to show their support.