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Son Not Allowed to Testify on Behalf of Father Arrested for Practicing Falun Gong

November 17, 2014 |   By a Minghui correspondent from Liaoning Province, China

(Minghui.org) “My father, Liu Qingtao, used to smoke, drink, and play Mahjong all the time. Home to him was more like a hotel, and he often came back drunk in the middle of the night. He was also hot-tempered and would fly into a rage at the slightest provocation.”

"However, he quit all his bad habits after he began to practice Falun Gong. He became a responsible husband and father. It is Falun Gong that changed my father and saved our family from falling apart.”

The above is what Mr. Liu Chunming, a college student, had prepared to say at the trial of his father Mr. Liu Qingtao (刘清涛) on January 23, 2014. But the younger Liu was never given a chance to testify on his father's behalf at the hearing.

The elder Liu was sentenced to five years. After his son appealed, the higher court decided to uphold the original verdict eight months later, without holding a second hearing.

Prior to this most recent sentence, Mr. Liu Qingtao spent five years in prison and two years in forced labor camps, all for practicing Falun Gong, a self-cultivation system persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr. Liu's Latest Arrest and Sentence

Mr. Liu Qingtao was arrested by officers from Dalian Economic Technology Developing District Police Department on July 6, 2012. Officers also ransacked his house.

On August 8, 2012, he was charged under Article 300 of China's Criminal Code with “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement,” routinely used by the Communist regime to arbitrarily arrest and imprison practitioners as part of its campaign to eradicate Falun Gong. He was detained in the development district's detention center.

On November 6, 2012, his case was referred to the court, but a hearing was never held.

On October 17, 2013, the Procuratorate dismissed the case for lack of evidence and sent it back to the development district police department. Shortly afterwards, it was reinstated and forwarded to the court again.

A trial date was set for January 23, 2014, even though no additional evidence was provided.

The day before the hearing, Mr. Liu's son, Liu Chunming, went to the Dalian Economic Technology Developing District Court and filled out the necessary paperwork so that he could be the Second Defender.

On the day of the trial, the court refused to allow Mr. Liu Chunming to defend his father, claiming that he was "a witness." The young man was sorely disappointed that he was not able to enter a “not guilty” plea for his father and present his defense.

When Mr. Liu Qingtao's five-year sentence was handed down, his son was determined to defend him at the second hearing. But on September 23, 2014, without holding a hearing, the Dalian Intermediate Court announced that the original judgment would be upheld.