Lawyer's Statement Condemns Illegal Procedures in Sentencing a Practitioner
(Minghui.org) “The intermediate court's verdict stated that they had consulted my opinion on the case. Quite to the contrary, I was never contacted after submitting the appeal. I absolutely cannot endorse the illegal verdict or accept the fact that the court used me to cover up its unlawful actions!” stated lawyer Liu Zhengqing in his blog.
The four-year sentence of his client Mr. Zhao Tianrong (赵天荣), a Falun Gong practitioner, was upheld on September 17, 2014, following the first sentence on July 30.
Mr. Zhao, 37, works as a manager at a software company. With his technical skills, patience, and sense of humor, he maintained a group of loyal customers. Once penniless after being released from the Tianhe Forced Labor Camp over ten years ago, he managed to have a family with two children, a house, and a car, through his hard work.
He was arrested on November 19, 2013, for creating and distributing DVDs that exposed the persecution of Falun Gong. A show trial without a verdict was held on May 5, 2014.
According to the lawyer's statement, the Shunde Procuratorate decided on June 25 that Mr. Zhao's case needed additional investigation, and suggested postponing the trial at the court of first instance.
A follow-up open trial was thus required by law. However, Shunde Court sentenced Mr. Zhao to a four-year prison term without a trial. Nor did it follow the law by sharing the investigation results with the defense lawyer.
Foshan Intermediate Court then cited, “No related evidence was collected after additional investigations” as the reason for upholding the four-year sentence without a trial, according to the lawyer's statement.
“The law states that once the case is appealed, as long as the defendant has objections to the evidence being used to charge him, the intermediate court must hold an open trial of the case. The trial should determine whether the objections are valid,” the defense lawyer wrote in his blog.
Mr. Liu's statement concluded, “For obvious reasons, the illegal actions will not be redressed through normal legal procedures. I can only publish an online statement so this will be recorded in history.”