Court Changes Trial Date, Suspends Lawyer
(Minghui.org) Mrs. Wang Aiying, a Falun Gong practitioner being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), was scheduled to be tried in the Handan Intermediate Court on August 29, 2013. Six days before the trial, Mrs. Wang's attorney was suspended by the court as being ineligible to defend the case. The court then canceled the August 29, 2013 trial, and a new trial date was to be announced. The suspicious actions of the court caused those involved with this case to really wonder what's going on in the Handan Court?
Two Trials, Two Sentences, Third Trial Pending
On the morning on June 1, 2011, a joint force of local officers, including 610 Office personnel and the State Armed Security, arrested Mr. Wang Hongliang and his wife Wang Aiying, from Wuan City, Hebei Province. Their home was also ransacked. The couple were prosecuted by the Wuan Procuratorate and tried in the Wuan Court.
In February 2012, Chen Jianguo, the presiding judge for the Wuan City First Criminal Court, sentenced Mr. Wang without informing his family or lawyer. Mr. Wang's family called the court on March 2, 2012, and only then found out that Mr. Wang had been sentenced to three years in prison. Ms. Wang was sentenced to serve four years. Judge Chen Jianguo told the family over the phone, “Don't call me again. Go to the police station if you want know what is happening, or go to Handan.”
Falun Gong is legal according to the law in China. Because the Wuan Court passed a sentence based on a fabricated crime, Mr. and Mrs. Wang had sufficient reason to contest the sentences they had received, so they appealed to the Handan Intermediate Court. In September 2012, the Handan Intermediate Court returned the case to the Criminal Second Court of Wuan, stating lack of evidence.
On February 2, 2013, the Wuan court released Mr. Wang on bail to await trial. There was insufficient evidence to hold him and the court was receiving quite a bit of pressure from the community regarding his detainment. That same day, the local police took Mr. Wang home. Mrs. Wang, however, continued to be held while the authorities arranged a second trial date.
On March 1, 2013, the Wuan City Court tried Mrs. Wang for a second time in an open court. After prosecutor Yu Weiping finished reading the indictment, the new so-called “testimony” was presented. The defense lawyer, Wang Quanzhang, pointed out that the new testimony actually did the job of proving that the defendant was innocent. This rendered prosecutor Yu Weiping speechless, and he left the court and never returned.
On March 18, 2013, the Wuan City Court followed through with the sentencing of Mrs. Wang, and she was given a three-year term. Mrs. Wang's family again hired a Beijing lawyer to appeal the case. The Handan Intermediate Court announced that a third trial would be scheduled for August 29, 2013. The Minghui.org website reported on this case.
Six days before the trial on August 23, 2013, the Handan Court suspended the eligibility of the Beijing lawyer to defend Mrs. Wang.
On August 26, 2013, notification was received that the Handan Intermediate Court had canceled the previously scheduled trial date of August 29, 2013. A new trial date was to be scheduled.
Many wondered why the Handan Intermediate Court suspended the eligibility of the Beijing defense lawyer, with no legal basis.
A less than credible explanation was given by the court, stating that the criminal procedures do not allow one lawyer to represent two defendants in the same case.
Beijing lawyer Wang Quanzhang was hired to represent Mr. Wang, and then Mr. Wang was released from custody. When Mrs. Wang was tried in a completely different trial, it was handled as a new case. Lawyer Wang from Beijing was again hired to defend Mrs. Wang. The Wuan Court did not raise any objection at that time.
Why did the Handan Intermediate Court dismiss Lawyer Wang and what objections did the court have?
Clearly, the Handan Intermediate Court had concerns that such a competent lawyer would submit a plea of not guilty. The verdict of the first trial involving Mrs. Wang Aiying was dismissed because of lack of evidence. At the second trial involving Mrs. Wang in the Wuan Court, the evidence provided by prosecutor Yu Weiping was shown to be defamatory and false.
Chinese law does not consider practicing Falun Gong a crime. Apparently, the Handan Intermediate Court judge knows this and did not want to take the chance that the Beijing lawyer, while defending Mrs. Wang, would expose the illegal proceedings of the court.
It was doubtful that the prosecutor had any new evidence against Mrs. Wang, making it likely that the testimony would again lack clear evidence. So the court found a way to make the defense attorney ineligible. This would allow the Handan Intermediate Court to pass a sentence according to its whim.
Then why did the Handan Intermediate Court change the third trial date?
Minghui.org reported this case and exposed what was happening in the Handan Intermediate Court. This prompted Falun Gong practitioners and people of conscience throughout the world, including China, to call and clarify the truth to the court and the associated departments. The callers advised the receivers not to follow the instructions of the CCP to convict innocent people.
Falun Gong practitioners in Handan City took advantage of this circumstance to pass out fliers and explain the facts about the persecution throughout the city. They encouraged the Handan judges not to be scapegoats for the CCP.
This case was exposed all over the world, which startled the Handan judges. They delayed and postponed the third trial until they could figure out what to do.
Because the truth about Falun Gong is known in Handan, it has been difficult for the CCP to sustain the persecution in this area. Those employed at the Public Security Department, the Procuratorate and the court have reason to be fearful because of their participation in the persecution.
Mrs. Wang has been detained for over two years and has gone through two trials with a third trial pending. Her original unlawful sentence was three years and that term is almost up. Will the Handan Intermediate Court really try her a third time knowing that the original trial was made a mockery by the prosecuting attorney's lack of evidence?
We urge all those involved in this case: Stop persecuting Falun Gong and release Mrs. Wang Aiying immediately.