Defense Attorney: “It Is Totally Wrong to Persecute Falun Gong”
(Minghui.org) After being illegally detained for over a year, Mr. Wang Kuangsheng, a Falun Gong practitioner from Hebi City, Henan Province, was tried in Heshan District Court on January 24, 2014.
Though constantly interrupted by presiding judge Li Guihong, defense attorney Wang Yajun from Beijing still managed to deliver a convincing argument in support of his client.
When the public prosecutor argued that Mr. Wang Kuangsheng's persuading people to quit the Chinese Communist Party was anti-government, the lawyer shot back, “It is totally wrong to persecute Falun Gong in the first place. My client's efforts are aimed at correcting the government's mistake and should be viewed as 'patriotic!'”
Mr. Wang Kuangsheng testified on his own behalf and pleaded not guilty. After the judge adjourned the trial without issuing a verdict, his family vowed to fight for his right to freedom of belief.
Since his arrest on November 29, 2012, more than 500 local residents have signed a petition calling for Mr. Wang's release .
Attorney Objects to Unfounded Evidence
As soon as the trial began, attorney Wang realized that, even though the public prosecutor had failed to submit the required documents, he was allowed to proceed. There were no witnesses, and the only “evidence” presented consisted of a few photographs, written testimonies, and a certificate of authenticity produced by the police verifying the list of items they had confiscated from Mr. Wang's home.
The attorney objected to the admission of such “evidence,” since police departments are prohibited by law from certifying any physical evidence presented by the public prosecutor. He also argued that the actual physical evidence should have been presented to the court prior to the hearing, as stipulated by law.
When the prosecutor accused the defendant of engaging in anti-government activities, the lawyer vociferously disagreed. He pointed out that it was totally wrong for the regime to persecute Falun Gong in the first place and that his client's effort to clarify the facts was an attempt to correct the government's mistake. He considered what his client was doing to be patriotic.
He protested when presiding judge Li Guihong repeatedly tried to stop him from mentioning Falun Gong, and asked why she claimed the subject was “irrelevant.” He reminded her that he had every right to refute the prosecutor's groundless allegations against his client.
In his closing arguments, the attorney emphasized again that his client had committed no wrong and that possessing Falun Gong books and materials broke no law.
Mr. Wang Kuangsheng spoke about the health benefits he gained from practicing Falun Gong and recounted his plight at the hands of public security agents. He reiterated his right to freedom of belief and his right to defend himself when mistreated.
Police Attempt to Prevent Attorney and Family from Attending the Hearing
On the day of the trial, the police blocked off both ends of a main street leading to the courthouse and did not allow any cars to pass.
Even attorney Wang Yajun's car was stopped at the checkpoint. The police asked to search everyone in the car, but Wang firmly refused to allow it and warned them he'd file a complaint at the Henan Province Public Security Bureau. The police wouldn't budge, and he refused to give in. The standoff lasted 20 minutes, until the president of the court came out to let him in.
Mr. Wang Kuangsheng's wife also had to negotiate with the police, who initially refused to let her enter the courtroom even after she showed proper identification. In the end, Mrs. Wang and five other family members were allowed in.
By the time the lawyer and the family sat down, they noticed only seven seats were left--all the others were taken by judicial system workers, including the president and vice president of the court.
Chief Persecutor Threatens Family
During the trial, Mr. Wang Kuangsheng identified director Zhang Mancang of the Domestic Security Division as the person chiefly responsible for persecuting him.
When Mr. Wang was detained, Zhang threatened to arrest his wife and child and forced him to sign the pre-fabricated interrogation transcripts. Zhang also threw burning cigarettes at Mr. Wang in an attempt to get him to renounce his belief.
Prior to the trial, Zhang and other officers repeatedly warned Mr. Wang's wife to not retain a lawyer and threatened to arrest her if she didn't heed their warnings.
On the day of the trial, when Mr. Wang's wife tried to take a picture of Zhang outside of the courtroom as evidence, he threatened her again, saying, “Haven't you gotten into enough trouble yet?”
She retorted, “You are responsible for all of our ordeals. It's you and your team that has caused our family such heartache.” Zhang was rendered speechless and left quickly.
Family and Local Community Rally Behind Mr. Wang
Mr. Wang Kuangsheng was employed at the No. 9 Mining Division of the Hemei Company, a subsidiary of the Henan Coal and Chemical Group. Since his arrest on the morning on November 29, 2012, more than 500 locals have signed a petition calling for his immediate release.
Despite threats and pressure from the police, Mr. Wang's family hired an attorney to represent him. They were outraged that he was not acquitted as they had hoped, and they vowed to continue their efforts to seek justice for him.
Citing “insufficient evidence,” Heshan District Court and Heshan District Procuratorate initially rejected Mr. Wang's case and returned it to the Heshan District Police Department. A trial scheduled for October 16, 2013 was canceled for unknown reasons. The police then fabricated more evidence, and Mr. Wang was then tried this January.
Contact Information for Judge Li and Director Zhang:
Li Guihong (李桂红), presiding judge of the Heshan District Court: +86-392-2313151 (Office) Zhang Mancang (张满仓), director of the Hebi City Police Department Domestic Security Division: +86-18939289293 (Cell)