A Travesty of Justice: The Sham Trial of Mr. Zhao Tianrong in Guandong Province
(Minghui.org) A presiding judge in Guandong Province repeatedly interrupted a defense attorney on May 5, 2014 as he presented evidence to the court on behalf of his client, Mr. Zhao Tianrong, a Falun Gong practitioner. The lawyer pointed out that the judge had already convicted his client, thus the entire trial was a mere formality. The judge smirked and giggled at the obvious truth of the lawyer's words.
Whenever Mr. Zhao started to present his side of the story, the judge immediately interrupted him, telling him to write out his argument and present it to the court within three days. The judge clearly favored the state prosecutor at every turn.
After about 90 minutes, the judge abruptly called for another trial date to be set. Mr. Zhao was taken back to the Shunde Detention Center, despite already having been illegally detained for six months, awaiting trial.
Evidence Not Cross-examined
The prosecutor's “evidence” against Mr. Zhao, consisted of 48 Dafa-related DVDs, several U-drives, and a few informational materials about Falun Gong. When Mr. Zhao's lawyer requested that the contents of the DVDs and U-drives be played before the court, the judge and prosecutor completely ignored him.
“According to the law,” the lawyer exclaimed, “any evidence that is not played in court cannot be cross-examined, thus it cannot be used as evidence, nor can it form the basis of a final judgment!” When the judge refused to call witnesses to the stand, the lawyer said, “Witnesses must give evidence in court, otherwise their words are invalid.”
While handbags and IDs were being checked at the courthouse entrance, plain-clothed police swarmed the area and later filled up virtually every seat in the courtroom.
A man kept snapping photos of the lawyer, which prompted the lawyer to protest to the judge, “If the court proceedings are already being filmed, why is it necessary to take photos, too?” Feeling pressured, the judge ordered the man to stop.
Lawyer Obstructed from Meeting Client
Officers from the Longdong City police station broke into Mr. Zhao's residence and arrested him on November 19, 2013. They also ransacked his home and took away his laptop and miscellaneous items. He was later detained at the Shunde Detention Center.
Mr. Zhao's family appointed lawyer Liu Zhengqing to meet Mr. Zhao at the detention center on December 4. However, an officer at the center told the lawyer that he had to first get permission from the organization handling the case before he could meet with his client. Mr. Liu pointed out that according to the law, that was not a requirement, and that he had a legal and lawful right to meet with his client. “Don’t talk to me about the law and what's legal,” snapped the officer, “this is reality!”
The lawyer went directly to the head of the detention center, informing him that it was illegal to refuse him the right to visit with his client. After going back and forth for more than an hour, the head of the center finally agreed to let the lawyer meet with Mr. Zhao.
When the lawyer visited his client on December 12, Mr. Zhao told him that just a day earlier, the main officer overseeing the case came to his cell and said, “Actually, we never wanted to mess with Falun Gong; it was the provincial heads who ordered your arrest. Ask your friend not to make so many phone calls to clarify the truth, as this is exactly what has aggravated the situation!”
The Police Refuse to Cooperate
The owner of Mr. Zhao's company, asked his family members to go to the Lunjiao City police station in January 2014, to help secure some financial records that were on Mr. Zhao's laptop, which the company desperately needed. Officer Li Zhaoan refused to accommodate the family's request, even though he had previously promised that he would. When Mr. Zhao’s parents later attempted to contact Li Zhaoan, calling for Mr. Zhao's unconditional release, but no one would assist them.
On April 1, 2014, Mr. Zhao's family found out that a new trial date was being set for Zhao, but no specific date was mentioned. On May 1, the family received a text message indicating that the trial date was set for May 5, at the Shunde District Court in Foshan City.
Those involved in persecuting Zhao Tianrong include:
Ma Mingxing, Ronggui City police station: +86-13802681600Ling Weiqiang, detention center head: +86-13924850866Li Zhaoan, police officer handling the case: +86-13690786222 (Cell)Shunde District Detention Center: +86-757-22639361Cao Ben, Shunde District Court Tribunal: +86-757-22663847, +86-757-22663703