610 Office Head Deprives Ms. Wen of Her Legal Right to Defend Herself
(Minghui.org) Zeng Huanxin is the deputy director of the Wuhua County Police Department in Meizhou City, Guangdong Province, and the head of the County 610 Office. He forced the family of Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wen Pinling to dismiss both of her defense lawyers, and deprived Ms. Wen of her legal right to defend herself during a court hearing held on December 23, 2016.
Ms. Wen Pinling, 66, was arrested at noon on August 23, 2016 at her home in Meilin Town, Wuhua County. More than ten armed police, led by Zhong Hongsong, from the Wuhua County Domestic Security Division took part in the arrest. Ms Wen's husband Wei Shijie, who is over 70, was arrested as well. He was released that afternoon.
Ms. Wen was sent to the Dapu Detention Center on August 24 and was later transferred to the Wuhua County Detention Center. Ms. Wen received the official arrest notice on September 29, 2016.
Falun Gong practitioners in Meizhou City wrote letters to all the related organizations in Wuhua County, to inform them of how Ms. Wen was being persecuted. However, the police retaliated against them. Some practitioners had to leave home to avoid being arrested.
Zeng Huanxin flagrantly violated the law to persecute Ms. Wen, who now faces a jail sentence.
Zeng Huaxin Openly Orders Expulsion of Ms Wen's Defense Lawyers
Defense lawyer Fan Biaowen was hired by Ms. Wen's husband, and met with Ms. Wen in the Wuhua County Detention Center on November 11, 2016. When Zeng Huaxin heard this, he immediately called Liao Xuhui, deputy director of the Meilin Town Government. He ordered Liao to take any measures necessary to make the lawyer leave the case.
Liao immediately drove to Ms. Wen's home and proceeded to deceive and threaten her husband.
Liao claimed, “Your wife has decided not to hire a lawyer. You should just agree with her and sign this paper to dismiss him. Director Zeng said that your wife won't be imprisoned after being sentenced. She can go home and take care of you. If you do what director Zeng asks, your wife will only be sentenced to one year instead of three years. If you don't comply, it's hard to say what will happen...”
Mr. Wei Shijie gave in and signed the prepared letter. The lawyer, Fan Biaowen, was then informed that Ms. Wen's husband had dismissed him. Ms. Wen's family members and friends discussed the matter later and realized that the action was based on coercion, and was illegal.
Ms. Wen's daughter called the Wuhua County Court in December 2016 and asked who was in charge of her mother's case, and about the hearing date. She was informed that nothing had been determined. However, when she called again on December 20, 2016, she was told the hearing was scheduled for the morning of December 23.
When she asked whether they had informed her father, she was told no. Since it was only two days before the hearing, and the family had not been notified, this constituted a violation of legal procedure.
Ms. Wen's children immediately hired lawyer Liu Zhenqing from Guangzhou City. Her husband was sick in bed and signed the paper to grant the full rights to Liu Zhenqing to defend his wife.
The lawyer, accompanied by two of Ms. Wen's children, arrived at the Wuhua County Detention Center at 2:00 p.m. on December 22, 2016.
When Mr. Liu went to meet his client, he was sent to a room where no calls could be made or received for more than two hours. He was not allowed to see his client, nor allowed to leave. When he was allowed to leave after 4:00 p.m., he learned what happened while he waited:
When Zeng heard that the family had hired a new lawyer, he ordered Liao to force Ms. Wen’s husband, Mr. Wei, to dismiss him. He also threatened Liao, saying that if he couldn't make Mr. Wei dismiss the lawyer, he would lose his title of deputy director.
Even though Mr. Wei was bedridden and suffering from coronary heart disease, Liao threatened him and said that the order came directly from director Zeng.
In order to pressure Mr. Wei into givin in, Liao called his younger brother to come. The brother is the principal of Sanle Elementary School in Meilin Town.
Liao said to Mr. Wei, “If your brother does not dismiss this new lawyer, I will lose my position as deputy director and your brother will lose his principal position as well...”
They pressured Mr. Wei for more than two hours. Finally he called his children, who were waiting for the lawyer in the detention center, and cried in despair, “I'm about to die now. Just do whatever they ask.”
After attorney Liu was allowed to leave the detention center, he learned what happened and how Zeng had threatened the town deputy director with his power, and bullied Ms. Wen's sick husband. He immediately wrote a letter of complaint titled, “Serious violation of the law to undermine law implementation” and sent it to the Wuhua County Court via express mail.
Neither of Ms. Wen's lawyers were present when the hearing began at 9:30 a.m. on December 23, 2016 at the Wuhua County Court. Zeng was at the court and oversaw everything.
More than fourteen of Ms. Wen's relatives came to attend the proceedings, but only five of them were allowed to enter the courtroom. One more was permitted by Zeng after they strongly protested.
They were body searched and were not allowed to take anything into the courtroom. Six officers with guns sat around them. However, the other forty attendees, who were mostly plainclothes police, were able to move around freely. In addition, more than thirty officers in police uniforms were also in the courtroom.
There were two prosecutors and three judges in the hearing session. Four witnesses from Meilin Town were present in the court. Presiding judge Zhang Zhiquan claimed they all saw Ms. Wen posting a banner which read, “Falun Dafa is good.”
Judge Liu Dong stated that the materials from Ms. Wen's home were against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Zhou, the prosecutor, repeated the CCP propaganda on Falun Gong and even claimed that Falun Gong practitioners were excluded from Article 36, which guarantees freedom of belief.
The presiding judge Zhang Zhiquan eventually asked Ms. Wen, “Do you agree with what has been said?”
Ms. Wen firmly said no. But when she tried to defend herself, the judge interrupted her. He then ordered to hear the next case, and never gave Ms. Wen an opportunity to speak or defend herself.
Related persecutor's list:
Zeng Huanxin (曾患鑫), deputy director of Wuhua County Police Department, +86-753-4185141Zhong Hongsong (钟洪松), head of Domestic Security Division, +86-753-4185350, +86-13802367123(c)Liu Dong (刘东), judge at Wuhua County Court: +86-13826624325Liao Xuhui(廖旭辉), deputy director of Meilin tTown Government, +86-13826605912Zhang Fan (张帆), head of Wuhua County Detention Center: +86-753-4313289