Legal Rights Denied: Practitioners in China Cannot Get a Fair Trial
(Minghui.org) The Kunming City Intermediate Court tried Falun Gong practitioners Mr. Su Kun, and his wife Ms. Zhang Xiaodan for the third time on May 24, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. When the prosecutor could not provide proper evidence of any wrongdoing, judge Yang Jie called a recess. This was the third time that the judge called for a recess without a valid reason. Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in China are repeatedly subject to such abuses of the legal system, where their constitutional right to a fair trial is routinely denied.
Blatant misuse of the judicial system
The start of the trial was delayed for 20 minutes. Besides the couple's attorney, who entered a not-guilty plea for the defendants, Mr. Su’s mother and Ms. Zhang’s father acted as the defendants’ legal representatives at the trial. The judge was Yang Jie, the assistant judges were Li Xinghu and Li Shichao, and the prosecutor was Tang Yaqin.
When the hearing began, the couple's attorney asked that the prosecutor present actual evidence rather than just show pictures or rely on verbal descriptions. Prosecutor Tang was unable to present any such evidence. At 11:30 a.m. when the inquiry proceeded to the third round, the judge suddenly declared a recess until the following Friday. This was the third time that Yang arbitrarily called a recess for no valid reason.
Illegally detained for over a year
On May 4, 2012, Mr. Su Kun, a computer instructor, and his, wife Ms. Zhang Xiaodan, were illegally arrested at their home in the Shibo District of Yunnan National Defense Technical College by officers from the Domestic Security Division of the Panlong District Police Department in the Kunming City. Mr. Su was taken to the Panlong District No. 2 Detention Center and his wife to the Panlong District No. 1 Detention Center. The police ransacked their home and seized a computer, a laptop, a hard drive, cell phones, and Dafa books. Ms. Zhang was beaten in the detention center. They both pled not guilty through their lawyers when they were prosecuted later. Over a year later, their case has still not been resolved.
Breakdown of the judicial system
On January 21, 2013, the Kunming City Intermediate Court tried Mr. Su and Mrs. Zhang for the first time. Only half an hour into the trial, Yang Jie called for a recess, stating that the trial was postponed until another day.
The second trial was not held until April 7, almost three months later. The trial was originally scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. but did not actually start until 11:30. Not long after it began, Judge Yang Jie stopped the attorney from asking the defendant questions and said that he needed the judge's permission to ask any questions. When the attorney voiced his disagreement, Yang got very angry, called for a recess, and left abruptly.
A month later, on May 24, Yang Jie once again ended the trial by calling for a recess. Each time she called for a recess, things were made more difficult for the practitioners, their families, and their attorneys. As a judge, Yang should be very clear on court protocol and the law. But she repeatedly violated regular procedure and thus severely hampered practitioners’ legal rights. The repeated interruptions and delays further prove the incompetence of the Chinese judicial system.
A decade of persecution
Mr. Su Kun has been subjected to ongoing persecution by officers from the Panlong District Police Department. On December 6, 2004, he was arrested by agents from the Domestic Security Division of the Panlong District Police Department when he was distributing DVDs containing information about Falun Gong to students in his school. He was sentenced to three years of forced labor. Later, his term was extended for an additional seven months, and he was not released until July 2008.