(Minghui.org) A district court in Qingdao City tried Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Cui Luning and Mr. Li Hao on April 10, 2014. Their alleged crime was “leaking state secrets.”

Ms. Cui and Mr. Li were arrested along with about ten other practitioners on May 2, 2013, as they were photographing torture techniques used against practitioners. About 70 police officers took part in the sudden arrests.

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) media began publicizing this incident a month later, claiming that practitioners were fabricating torture technique photos and “sabotaging law enforcement.” The police later changed the charges to “leaking state secrets.” All practitioners arrested during that police raid were tortured while being interrogated.

On April 10, 2014, the trial day, the detention center invoked heightened security measures. Only four family members and three lawyers were allowed into the courtroom, which was located inside the detention center.

Ms. Cui and Mr. Li both pleaded not-guilty. Their three lawyers strongly rebuked the allegations by public prosecutor Zhang Zhiyong. The defense lawyers stated that practicing Falun Gong was legal, and that calling Falun Gong an “evil cult” violated the law. They argued that the practitioners’ torture demonstration was an effort to stop the torture.

The lawyers also pointed out serious legal violations in the court documents, and notes taken for the defendants and witnesses. The signatures of interrogators were missing, the notes were altered in a number of places, the police did not show arrest warrants when arresting the practitioners, the officers were not wearing police uniforms, the police failed to show a search warrant while searching practitioners’ homes, the search took place when practitioners and family members were absent, and practitioners were not given the opportunity to identify their belongings or check the list of confiscated items.

Instead of addressing the lawyers’ questions, the prosecutor pulled out a prepared document and began to read it. The second prosecutor remained silent, and refused to say anything.

The defense lawyers demanded that the court declare Ms. Cui Luning and Mr. Li Hao innocent, and release them immediately. Judge Wang Qiang interrupted the lawyers’ defense several times, and he did not allow any mention of the practitioners’ beliefs. At 2:00 p.m., the judge adjourned the court session and stated that sentences would be announced on another day.

After the trial, Li Hao’s wife asked the court to allow Li Hao to see his ten month-old daughter for the first time, but the court refused her request.

Before the April 10 court trial, Ms. Cui’s lawyer Tang Tianhao canceled his contract with Ms. Cui’s husband, due to pressure from the regime.

Previous reports: Qingdao City 610 Office and Police Department Continue Persecuting Innocent People
Shandong Province: Practitioner Detained for Taking Torture Re-enactment Photos, Family and Attorney Threatened
Mr. Li Hao from Qingdao Imprisoned; His Wife and Newborn Homeless, Penniless, and Being Harassed