Judge from Harbin City Dismisses Defense Attorneys During Trial of Practitioner Couple Wen Yingzhous and Zhang Haixia
(Minghui.org) Judge Yuan Yue of the Xiangfan Court in Harbin City threw two defense attorneys out of his courtroom, even though he had no reasonable grounds for doing so. This happened on August 20, 2014, during the trial of practitioners Mr. Wen Yingzhous and his wife, Ms. Zhang Haixia.
The judge also attempted to force their relatives to change attorneys. When they refused, he yelled, “Stop the trial, stop the trial,” and the proceedings were halted.
Judge Has Defense Attorneys Removed
The family of Mr. Wen and Ms. Zhang went to the visiting room at the No. 2 Detention Center (Yaziquan) of Harbin City just after 9:00 a.m. that morning. Judge Yuan Yue and a female member of his staff told them that only two family members would be allowed to attend the trial.
The family asked, “Isn’t this trial open to the public?” The judge replied, “Do you want to get in or not? We are doing you a favor. You don’t need to come if you don’t want to.” The two family members entered just before 11:00 a.m.
Because of her physical condition, Ms. Zhang had to be carried in. Mr. Wen was then brought in, and Judge Yuan announced that the trial would begin. When introducing the prosecutor and the defense attorneys, he asked whether the accused would like to apply for withdrawal. Ms. Zhang asked her attorney “What does that mean?” He tried to explain what it meant, but the judge was impatient and would not allow further explanation.
Ms. Zhang still didn't understand. Her attorney, Dong Qianyong, said on her behalf, “I apply for withdrawal.” The judge responded by giving an order: “Court officers, take him out.” A bailiff (badge number F23213) roughly escorted attorney Dong Qianyong out of the courtroom.
Ms. Zhang's other attorney, Wang Yu, said, “I will continue with the application.” He also filed a complaint against the bailiff who had manhandled his partner out of the courtroom. Judge Yuan again said, “Take this one out, too.”
After the two attorneys had been forcibly escorted out, the judge started to speak to someone else. Ms. Zhang was talking with a family member. The same bailiff threatened, “If you continue to talk, I will ask that you be removed from this courtroom as well.”
Judge Yuan told the relatives of the accused that he would continue only if their attorneys didn't return. When they asked how the trial could continue without defense attorneys, the judge told them to get new ones.
The family members said, “We've already paid them. How can we change? Why should we dismiss them?” When they continued challenging the judge, he yelled, “We will stop the trial then! Stop the trial!”
The relatives and the attorneys went to the court that afternoon to hand in the legal documents to apply for bail.
Couple Arrested, Ms. Zhang Holds Hunger Strike
Mr. Wen and his wife were arrested from home on the morning on June 18, 2014, by officers from the Harbin City Public Security Bureau, Xiangfan District Public Security Bureau, and the Junmin Street Police Station. During the arrest Ms. Zhang had a heart attack and was taken in an emergency vehicle to the provincial hospital for emergency care. She could not move for quite some time after she was injected with unknown drugs.
Prior to the trial, Ms. Zhang Haixia began a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was force-fed twice at the detention center. Following the incident in court, she continued and is still on the hunger strike. She is very weak and has great difficulty walking. The doctor has issued the critical condition notice, saying that she is suffering from a “potassium disorder.”
Parties involved in persecuting the couple:Yuan Yue (袁越), judge, Xiangfang Court: +86-451-87260177Court clerk, Xiangfang Court: +86-18646363907 (Cell)Li Xiaodan (李小丹), prosecutor with Xiangfang ProcuratorateWang Dianbin (王殿滨), officer, Xiangfang Police DepartmentQian Luping (钱路萍), officer, Xiangfang Police Department: +86-13796678267 (Cell)Tang Xianwu (汤宪武), chief, Junmin Police Station: +86-13704816366 (Cell)