610 Office Overrides Legal Procedure in Chongqing Trial
(Minghui.org) The rule of law is predicated upon a legal process free from external intervention, and rooted in all parties following a predefined set of rules of engagement. So when defense lawyers for three Falun Gong practitioners discovered that their clients had been put on trial without the case first being filed with the Procuratorate, as required by law, they naturally asserted that it should be thrown out immediately.
Imagine their surprise when the 610 Office, an extralegal organization that has no official role within the legal system, interjected itself and forced the trial to continue.
After the trial of Mr. Du Yangxi, Mr. Qin Aiming, and Ms. Qin Huaxia began, the defense lawyers discovered the trial's illegality and pushed for an immediate dismissal. This was expected to be an easy decision for the judge, who deferred making it that day.
On the second day of the trial, the public prosecutor produced a “supplementary letter” issued by the local 610 Office the night before, and the judge allowed the trial to continue based on this unofficial document.
The lawyers questioned the prosecutor, “What exactly is the 610 Office? Does it have any legal authority to accept a case and indict anyone, and trump the established legal process?”
Named for its establishment date of June 10, 1999, the 610 Office is an extralegal agency tasked with carrying out the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners of Falun Gong in China face arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, and torture for refusing to renounce their belief at the demands of the authorities.
According to China's legal system, the arresting police agency must file the case with the procuratorate before the latter issues an indictment against the defendant. The court cannot proceed with a trial without the defendant being formally charged.
The judge adjourned the trial on April 29 without announcing a verdict.
Six Practitioners Tried at Chongqing Court