(Minghui.org) A Qitaihe City resident was promised a lighter sentence if he agreed to drop his lawyer. Mr. Li Baohua, 43, firmly declined. He was scheduled to face trial on January 18, 2017, but the details of his hearing remain to be investigated.

Mr. Li, a computer repair shop owner, was arrested on May 8, 2016 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. Chief Wang Yang from the Taoshan Police Station led his officers to ransack Mr. Li’s home that day and confiscated a large amount of valuables, including Mr. Li’s business account books.

Mr. Li’s business had to be closed as a result of his arrest. His father, a cancer patient, and his mother, who had heart disease, are appealing for his release.

The local procuratorate twice returned Mr. Li’s case to the Taoshan Police Station, citing insufficient evidence. The police refused to give up and eventually got the procuratorate to indict Mr. Li.

Mr. Li’s family hired a lawyer to defend him. Liu Xiaoyan from the local court tried, unsuccessfully, to cajole Mr. Li and his family to drop the lawyer in exchange for a lighter sentence.

Mr. Li is one of the 12 Qitaihe residents arrested on May 8, 2016 for their faith.

Related report:

12 Arrested in One Day for Their Faith