Songyuan Judiciary Invents Another Extrajudicial Procedure to Stymie Falun Gong Practitioners' Attorneys
(Minghui.org) After enforcing "attorney qualification verification" in February, the Songyuan judiciary invented another ploy at the end of March to hinder two Beijing attorneys defending a Falun Gong practitioner. They are also asking for a non-private agent certification that the attorneys will not be able to obtain.
The attorneys filed a complaint with the Songyuan City Intermediate Court on April 10. They charged judge Hu and Xu with abuse of power, creating extrajudicial procedures, and illegally increasing defense lawyers' obligations.
Since there is no justice bureau coordination between provinces, it's impossible for an out-of-province justice bureau to issue a “not a private agent” certification. The requirement is an intentional infringement of a lawyer's right to defend his client.
Extra Requirement for Verification
Even since Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Cui Hongwen was arrested for distributing Falun Gong flyers on December 5, 2013, the Songyuan judiciary has been creating extrajudicial procedures to obstruct his attorneys as they seek to defend Mr. Cui.
Just before a routine meeting with Mr. Cui on February 8, 2014, the attorneys were told that they had to first pass an attorney qualification verification from the Songyuan Justice Bureau. Then the Qianguo Court judge, Hu Fangquan, told the attorneys that they could not represent Mr. Cui without the verification. (See Songyuan City Judicial System Obstructs Falun Gong Practitioners' Attorneys. )
Despite the fact that the court's approach violated the law and that there is no requirement to verify one's identity at the bureau of justice, the two attorneys still went to the bureau of justice and finally obtained the required permission on February 13.
“Non-Private Agent” Document
At the end of March, judge Hu informed the attorneys by phone that they had to procure an additional document, “not a private agent,” from their local Justice Bureau and the Beijing Justice Bureau before they could represent Mr. Cui.
The agents of the Beijing Bureau clearly stated that the bureau would not issue any such certification to any person or organization, when the attorneys visited the Bureau on April 1.
The attorneys immediately explained the situation to judge Hu and further discussed the situation with the court vice president in charge, Xu Hongjie on April 9. The court refused to change their position.