(Minghui.org) Mr. Ding Qingyan and Mr. Pei Zhonghua were tried by the Suizhong County Court on May 23, 2016. Their relatives were not allowed to attend the trial.

The two practitioners were arrested on January 14, 2016, and Mr. Pei was released on bail five days later. Mr. Ding has been held for over five months.

The Procuratorate agent’s evidence was that the practitioners had filed lawsuits against Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese dictator, and they had seven banners about Falun Gong.

“It is very strange that this case could be put on record,” said the defendant’s attorney. The attorney had appealed to the court and the procurator to dismiss the case, but did not receive a reply.

Violating Court Procedures

The agents of the court had planned ahead for the May 23 trial. When the accused’s relatives entered the court, Wang Baomin, director of the Domestic Security Division, told them to leave the courthouse and return later. However, the relatives were not allowed to reenter the building.

Mr. Pei's son and sister-in-law, and Mr. Ding's daughter, son-in-law, and his wife were among the family members not allowed to attend. Mr. Ding's daughter and other relatives asked Wang why he was not allowing them to enter the courthouse. The agents of the court and the Domestic Security Division remained silent. Wang took a video recording of everyone present inside and outside the courthouse.

Procedural Violations

Two attorneys pleaded not guilty on behalf of the two practitioners. The main judge, Li Yuntao, remained silent, while Judge Guan Shusen talked during the proceedings. He was known to have sentenced over 20 Falun Gong practitioners in the past.

The attorneys said that the Falun Gong books and Mr. Li Hongzhi's photos should not be considered evidence, pointing out that they are the same as the Bible for Christians, and Buddha's scriptures for Buddhists.

Regarding the truth-clarification banners, one of the defense attorneys said, “Police officers beat those people to death. Look at Ms. Gao Rongrong who was beaten to such a degree. You should investigate this case.” He was stopped from continuing by a court agent.

The attorney also pointed out that the judge had asked relatives of the accused to fire the attorneys before the trial, which was illegal. Additionally, agents from the Domestic Security Division demanded that Mr. Ding write a guarantee statement promising to renounce Falun Gong, claiming that he would be released if he did so. The attorney said that this was coercing the defendant, which is in violation of court rules.

Regarding suing Jiang Zemin, the attorney said, “The complaints were mailed to the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. The local Domestic Security Division considers the complaints illegal, but is it considered illegal by the two highest law offices?”

While defending their clients, the attorneys were stopped, and threatened with being thrown out of the court by police.

Judge Guan refused to let Mr. Pei talk on his own behalf. He declared the meeting adjourned after two hours. Guan violated court rules throughout the trial, interrupted and stopped the attorney's statements, and deprived the defendants of their right to speak on their own behalf.

Under existing regulations, court cases, except for cases related to governmental secrets or involving privacy, should be tried publicly, and attendance cannot be restricted.

Participants in the persecution of Mr. Ding and Mr. PeiPolitical and Legal Affairs Committee, Suizhong CountyLiu Zhou (刘铸), secretary, CCP: +86-429-6138955 (Office), +86-13709897111 (Cell), +86-429-2316666 (Home)Suizhong County Court Director: Cao Haiying (曹海英)Person in charge: Guan Shusen (关树森)