Falun Gong Practitioner Faces Heavy Sentencing Based on Falsified Evidence
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Changan was arrested for practicing Falun Gong. He is facing a possible heavy sentence based on prosecution evidence extracted from him through threats and coercion.
Mr. Li from Fangzheng County was arrested on July 7, 2010 for hanging banners that promoted Falun Gong with fellow practitioner Ms. Si Bingling. Mr. Li managed to escape, but Ms. Si was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Five years later Mr. Li was arrested by officers, including Bai Wenjie, team lead at the Fangzheng County Domestic Security Division and policeman Wang Linchun on May 27, 2015. His arrest was approved by the Fangzheng Procuratorate on June 10. The prosecutor recommended a heavy sentence.
Fangzheng County Court tried Mr. Li on September 1 and October 9, 2015. Mr. Li's two defense lawyers said that the so called evidence is illegal because it was extracted through threats and coercion. But the judge refused to dismiss the evidence and allowed the prosecutor to produce a video purportedly showing an eyewitness' account in favor of the interrogating officers, who insisted they never threatened Mr. Li. The judge, however, declined to call the eyewitness. It is not clear when the next hearing will take place and what sentence will be meted out against Mr. Li.
Mr. Li testified that he was threatened and forced to give incriminating evidence during the police interrogation. Police officer Bai Wenjie and Wang Linchun threatened him and said, “If you do not admit that you hung the banner to promote Falun Gong, we will arrest your mother and your wife.”
Mr. Li said inmate Wang Hongli was present and is an eyewitness. But the judge refused to call in the witness.
Mr. Li's lawyer argued that the prosecution's evidence collected through coercion was thus invalid. The Judge had to call the two police officers who interrogated Mr. Li to testify. They denied that they threatened Mr. Li. When the lawyers asked to see the video tape of the interrogation, officer Bai Wenjie claimed the video tape was not available since the recording device was broken during that time. When one of the defense lawyers asked that the officers describe how they interrogated Mr. Li, the judge refused to allow this line of questioning.
The second hearing was on September 9. In order to show that the two officers did not threaten Mr. Li and thus keep the persecution evidence admissible, the prosecutor produced a video. In the video the inmate Wang Hongli was interviewed by two persons. He claimed he did not hear any threats during the interrogation, and he closed the door later and did not hear anything afterwards.
The lawyer pointed out that the inmate is in the control of the two officers. He does not have the right to choose what to say and not to say. Also he said he closed the door afterwards. This does not prove that the two police officers did not threaten Mr. Li after the inmate closed the door.
The lawyers also questioned the identities of the two persons who interviewed the inmate. The identification cards of the two persons were provided half-an-hour later. They were staff members from the discipline committee. The lawyers said that they have no authority in the legal case. Thus, the video is invalid.
Mr. Li requested to call the inmate Wang Hongli to the court to testify. But the judge refused, and ended the hearing.