(Minghui.org) Judicial authorities interfered with lawyers hired to defend Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Zhu Xixia, who was arrested last November for filing a criminal complaint against the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong.

With only one of her two lawyers present to defend her, Ms. Zhu was tried in the Daye City Court on July 15, 2016.

Judge Creates Obstacles

Presiding judge Xiong Zhen called Attorney Lan two days before the trial and asked her to visit Ms. Zhu in the detention center. The judge said that, if the lawyer could persuade her client to admit guilt and enter a guilty plea on her behalf, they could reduce her sentence or even release Ms. Zhu on probation. Lan did not agree to it.

When Attorney Lan told the judge that she wasn't able to attend the trial because of a scheduling conflict, the judge made the same offer to Ms. Zhu's other lawyer, Zhang, who also turned him down.

In fact, that wasn't the only attempt by the court to interfere with Ms. Zhu’s defense.

Prior to the trial, the judge had refused to accept Attorney Lan's paperwork by mail, forcing Ms. Zhu's family to hire another lawyer, Zhang, to help her.

When the court set the trial for May 6, Attorney Zhang was only notified one day before the trial and Attorney Lan not at all. Zhang informed Lan of the trial date, and Lan set out for Daye City. Court officials then told Zhang that the trial had been postponed at the last minute.

Another trial was scheduled for July 6, which neither lawyer could attend. The lawyers protested, and the date was changed to July 15, although Lan still had a conflict. Attorney Zhang entered a not-guilty plea on Ms. Zhu’s behalf. Judge Xiong Zhen adjourned the trial without issuing a verdict.

Family Barred from Courtroom

Ms. Zhu's mother and sister and members of the general public were driven out of the courtroom by the bailiffs before the trial started. The bailiffs claimed they didn't have a permit.

Outside the courthouse, the gate was closed, leaving only a narrow space for one person to pass. Dozens of plainclothes officers were on guard at the entrance, videotaping passersby and taking pictures of Ms. Zhu's family and friends who waited outside. Armed police patrolled the road.

One practitioner's camera was confiscated when he tried to take pictures of the police presence.

Arrested for Suing Former Communist Party Leader

Ms. Zhu Xixia was arrested on November 3, 2015, by officers from Daye Domestic Security Division and Mingshanxiang Police Station. They ransacked her home and confiscated thousands of yuan in cash, her computer, and more than 90 Falun Gong books. The Daye Procuratorate approved her arrest on December 8.

The case was originally assigned to judge Cao Yuhui. For unknown reasons, he did not take the case and passed it to judge Xiong Zhen, who sentenced Falun Gong practitioner Huang Hailin three years ago.

Related report:Hubei Woman Arrested After Suing Former Chinese Leader, Gives Personal Account of Torture and Drug Injection

Perpetrators' contact information:
Xiong Zhen (熊振), presiding judge: +86-714-3188656, +86-18327879110 (Cell)
Shi Aizhen (石爱珍), prosecutor, Daye City Procuratorate: +86-714-3166182 (Office), +86-714-8765838 (Home), +86-13971786162 (Cell)Domestic Security Division: +86-714-8773068Mingshanxiang Police Station: +86-714-8490359Zhang Xuhua (张旭华), head of Mingshanxiang Police Station: +86-13971783660Li Jingsong (李劲松), police officer: +86-13971757059