Law Firms Join Their Falun Gong Clients to Seek Removal of Corrupt Court Officials
(Minghui.org) On August 21, 2013, the Yilan County Court of Heilongjiang Province tried four Falun Gong practitioners, Ms. Fei Shuqin, Ms. Lu Fengyun, Ms. Chen Yan, and Ms. Jiang Lianying. Ms. Fei fainted during the trial and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital. She was taken back to the courtroom after being resuscitated, and the trial continued.
In order to prevent the Falun Gong practitioners from having adequate legal representation, the Yilan County Court did not inform their attorneys of the trial dates and threatened the attorneys. Additionally, when the attorneys still managed to attend the proceedings, the judge and court personnel harassed the attorneys by interrupting them and turning off their microphones when they spoke.
According to Article 32 of the Judges Law of the People's Republic of China, judges cannot “abuse functions powers: and infringe upon the legitimate rights” of people. The judges are prohibited from neglecting duties that might lead to serious consequences for the parties involved. Eight attorneys filed a lawsuit against Zhang Anke, presiding judge of Yilan County Court, on August 15. They are suing for the removal of Judge Anke, and they are also seeking the removal of Lu Shoufang from the positions of presiding judge and vice president of the Yilan County Court.
Li Xiongbing, Kuntai Law Firm of Beijing Jiang Yibing, China Bank Law Firm of Beijing Mao Hongwei, Shidai Law Firm of the People of Guangdong Dong Qianyong, Jingchang Law Firm of Beijing Guo Haiyue, Daoheng Law Firm of Beijing Ma Gangquan, Mo Shaoping Law Firm of Beijing Li Changming, Luohui Dunhuang Law Firm of Beijing Li Hongxiu, Lihongxiu Law Firm of Beijing
This lawsuit is based on the Judges Law of the People's Republic of China. Plaintiffs request that the Yilan County Standing Committee investigate Judges Zhang Anke and Lu Shoufang, who illegally ordered Falun Gong practitioners' attorneys to declare their religious affiliation (whether or not the attorneys were Falun Gong practitioners) to the Bureau of Justice before considering to allow them to defend their clients. The two judges have abused their judicial power and deprived attorneys of their rights to defend their clients. Zhang and Lu's acts have seriously undermined public security and are in violation of the judicial system. The Yilan County Standing Committee is being petitioned to remove Zhang and Lu from their offices.
Violations of the Law :
On June 17, 2013, the Yilan County Court tried Falun Gong practitioners Mo Zhikui, Zhang Jinku, Sun Wenfu, Xu Feng, and Li Dapeng. Mo Zhikui's family hired two attorneys, Mr. Jiang Yibing and Mr. Li Xiongbing, from Beijing to represent Mo Zhikui. However, the court officials illegally prevented Attorney Xiongbing from entering the courtroom. Although the other attorney, Mr. Jiang Yibing, managed to enter the courtroom, during the trial, Zhang, the Court's presiding judge, repeatedly interrupted Mr. Jiang, preventing him from defending his client.
Similarly, on July 31, 2013, the Yilan County Court tried Dong Qianyong, Duan Shuyan, and Meng Fanying. Zhang Huijuan hired Mao Hongwei, an attorney from Canton, and Meng Fanying hired Dong Qianyong, an attorney from Beijing. Ms. Meng also appointed her daughter, Xing Cuicui, as a representative. The court officers refused to send notice of the indictment to the attorneys, nor did they arrange times for the attorneys to review the files. In addition, the court officers first claimed that they forgot to notify Ms. Xing Cuicui of the trial times. Subsequently, they refused to let Ms. Xing defend her mother, stating that the Bureau of Justice would not allow it.
During the trial, because Zhang Huijuan, Duan Shuyan, and Meng Fanying did not have legal representation, they did not say a word. This meant that the fabricated evidence went unchallenged.
During Zuo Zhenqi and Liu Fengcheng's trial held on July 31, 2013, Presiding Judge Zhang Anke tried to require Zuo Zhenqi's attorney, Mr. Shang Baojun from Mo Shaoping Law Firm of Beijing, to obtain certification from the Bureau of Justice that he was not a Falun Gong practitioner. Mr. Shang refused to comply. Court authorities refused to send the court notices to Mr. Shang or arrange time for him to review his client's file.
Compounding matters, the Harbin Detention Center authorities did not allow Mr. Shang to meet with his client within 48 hours, as required by law. Detention center officials claimed they were unable to arrange the meeting because the center was under renovations. Mr. Shang resigned as defense counsel because the authorities had impeded all his efforts to prepare a defense.
During the trial, Liu Fengcheng's attorney Mr. Guo Haiyue was repeatedly interrupted by Zhang Anke, the presiding judge. Zhang forbade Mr. Guo from commenting on constitutional provisions and the nature of the case. Additionally, Zhang deliberately turned off Mr. Guo's microphone so that his statements could not be heard.
Defendant Chen Yan's attorney, Zhang Gangquan; defendant Jiang Lianying's attorney, Li Hongxiu; defendant Fei Shuqin's attorney, Li Changming; and defendant Lu Fengyun's attorney Lin Qilei, were all ordered to go to the Bureau of Justice to obtain clearance that they were not Falun Gong practitioners. The attorneys were told that they could submit their briefs to the court only after they were approved as defense counsels by the Bureau of Justice. According to the Yilan County Court, this requirement was mandatory and had been enacted by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee.
Ning Yan was the prosecutor for all of the preceding cases.
The Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China clearly stipulates that citizens have the right to hire attorneys and that their families have the right to defend them.
The Yilan County Court has undermined law enforcement and the national judicial system. Their violations must be rectified in order to safeguard the rule the law.
Because of the same facts as cited in the attorney's lawsuit against the judges, a similar group of attorneys has filed a suit on behalf of their clients:
Mo Zhikui, represented by Li Xiongbing, attorney, Kuntai Law Firm of Beijing, and Jiang Yibing, attorney from the China Bank Law Firm of Beijing Zhang Huijuan, represented by Mao Hongwei, attorney, Shidai Law Firm of the People of Guangdong Meng Fanying, represented by Dong Qianyong, attorney, Jingchang Law Firm of Beijing Zuo Zhenqi, represented by Shang Bojun, attorney, Moshaoping Law Firm of Beijing Liu Fengcheng, represented by Guo Haiyue, attorney, Daoheng Law Firm of Beijing
Zhang Anke (presiding judge), Lu Shoufang (vice president and presiding judge), Ning Yan (prosecutor)
Prohibit the Yilan County Court's from further denying people their right to representation and to prosecute those in the court who have been denying those rights.
To overturn the convictions of the Falun Gong practitioners (plaintiffs) noted above, to retry the cases, while allowing the accused to exercise their juridical rights, and to rule that the judiciary has no jurisdiction over the practice of Falun Gong since the constitution of China guarantees freedom of belief.