Argentina's Criminal High Court Rules to Reopen Trial Against Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan
(Minghui.org) The Criminal High Court of Argentina remanded a case to the Federal Court of Criminal Appeals on April 17, 2013, ordering it to reopen the trial against the following defendants: former president and Party chief, Jiang Zemin, and former Party Standing Committee member, Luo Gan.
The two have been charged with the torture and genocide of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The plaintiff, the Falun Dafa Association of Argentina (FDAA), had already twice appealed the case. The case will now be reopened.
The FDAA hopes that the Argentina courts will uphold the spirit and letter of the law by issuing an international arrest warrant for Jiang and Luo.
On December 13, 2005, the FDAA filed a lawsuit against Luo Gan, the then Vice-Director of the 610 Office, while he was visiting Argentina. He is being charged with using the 610 Office to directly plan and deploy the persecution of Falun Gong. The case was accepted by Judge Dr. Octavio Aráoz de Lamadrid, of Federal Criminal Court No. 9.
Arrest Warrant Issued
In December 2009, after four years of investigation and collecting testimonies from many Falun Dafa practitioners, Judge Lamadrid issued an international warrant requesting that Interpol arrest defendants, Jiang and Luo, when they leave China, and extradite them to stand trial in Argentina for their crimes against humanity. The judge included Jiang in Luo's case after he discovered that the former president of China initiated the persecution of Falun Gong.
Judge Forced to Resign after CCP Interferes with Legal Process
The Chinese Embassy in Argentina issued a formal letter to the Minister of the Argentine Foreign Ministry; Argentine court officials, and various state ministers, asking for "the end to all cases related to Falun Gong" immediately after they received notice of the international arrest warrants for Jiang and Luo. They also threatened that should the case proceed, it would undermine bilateral relations between China and Argentina.
Shortly after, Judge Lamadrid was forced to resign and the Argentine government quickly arranged for another judge to take his place. On the first day that the newly appointed judge took over, he revoked the international arrest warrant against Jiang and Luo and closed the case for lack of evidence.
Falun Dafa Association Appeals Twice
The FDAA appealed to the Federal Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled in December 2010 that the case applied the principle of universal jurisdiction, and that the evidence surrounding the persecution, which was provided by the plaintiff, was sufficient enough to accept and trust.
However, the court rejected the case based on the principle of “non bis in idem” [ If the International Criminal Court (ICC) has decided the case then no other court may try that same case ].
In essence, the principle holds that two identical matters cannot be brought forth independently against the same defendants. Because a similar case based on human rights violations against Falun Gong adherents had already been brought in Spain, the Court of Appeals ruled that the principle applied.
The FDAA then appealed to the Criminal High Court of Argentina, pointing out that the Chinese regime had applied enormous political pressure, forcing the No.1 Tribunal of the Federal Court of Criminal Appeals to apply the principle of “non bis in idem” in order to reject the case. The FDAA also noted that the principle of “non bis in idem” should not be applied to the genocidal persecution of Falun Gong, before the accused parties were officially convicted.
Amnesty International Supports the FDAA's Appeals
Amnesty International supported the FDAA's appeals, and from a third party's point of view, provided the Criminal High Court with a large number of criminal law cases concerning crimes against humanity, including their processing, development, and analysis of said crimes. The human rights organization held that the principle of “non bis in idem” should not apply to this case.
Criminal High Court Orders Retrial
On April l7, 2013, the Criminal High Court of Argentina rejected the Federal Court of Criminal Appeals' decision to close the case and ordered the case remanded to the Ninth Tribunal of the Federal Criminal Court for retrial.
The Criminal High Court ruled that the principle of “non bis in idem” cannot be used to determine whether an investigation into a case should or should not be conducted; much less so can it be used to determine the outcome of a case.