Court Appointed Lawyer Changes Stance Midway Through Trial of Falun Gong Practitioner
(Minghui.org) A Funing County, Jiangsu Province, native was tried on September 27, 2016, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Yang Yaping was arrested a month earlier, on August 20, in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, where she did odd jobs. Her trial took place in the Minhang District Court in Shanghai.
She hired a lawyer from Beijing to defend her. The Beijing lawyer argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that his client should never have been prosecuted for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.
The court also appointed a lawyer, who was instructed to plead guilty for Ms. Yang. Midway through the trial, this court appointed lawyer changed his stance and argued that Ms. Yang broke no law by striving to be a good person following Falun Gong's principles.
Ms. Yang’s family used to feel that her practice of Falun Gong had brought them too much trouble. They, however, were moved by the Beijing lawyer’s daring to enter a not-guilty plea for her and began to realize that their loved one did nothing wrong.
Some of them came to thank the lawyer after the trial was concluded.