Judge and Prosecutor Interrupt Lawyer's Defense During Trial of Falun Gong Practitioner
(Minghui.org) The judge and the prosecutor constantly interrupted a lawyer’s non-guilty defense during a recent trial of a Falun Gong practitioner.
The trial of Ms. Gu Li took place on April 28, 2017 at Jinzhou District Court in Dalian. Ms. Gu was arrested on December 6, 2016 while talking to three soldiers about her being imprisoned as part of the communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong. She has since been detained at Yaojia Detention Center in Dalian. Her arrest was approved on December 27, 2016.
Trial Delayed by Court
Ms. Gu’s family and her lawyer arrived at the court about 15 minutes before the trial's scheduled start at 9:30 am. They were told by security that the judge hadn’t arrived yet and were asked to wait outside the court.
The lawyer checked with security at 9:30 am again, and was asked to continue waiting. The lawyer and Ms. Gu’s family were finally allowed to enter the courtroom at 9:45 am.
The judge, court clerk and prosecutor were already seated when Ms. Gu’s lawyer and her family entered the courtroom. Five government officials and a bailiff were sitting in the gallery, and four police officers were on guard.
The judge started the trial before the lawyer had time to take out all necessary paperwork. He quickly went through the name list of the court staff and prosecutor involved in the case. It was so fast that the lawyer did not hear clearly. When the lawyer requested that the judge repeat the names, the judge refused to do so and blamed her for not listening carefully.
During the defense’s cross-examination, the judge frequently interrupted the lawyer and kept rushing her.
As the lawyer went on to defend Ms. Gu, the judge continued to interrupt her, saying that her defense was “not related to the case.”
“You have been taking a lot of time to interrupt me and not let me talk,” Ms. Gu’s attorney said. “I would have already finished if you didn’t interrupt me.”
When the lawyer said that there was no legal basis for the persecution of Falun Gong, both the presiding judge and the prosecutor shouted at her to stop talking. The judge banged the gavel hard on the podium.
The prosecutor also asked the court clerk to write on the trial record that he would look into certain regulations and seek punishment of the lawyer for her defense.
As the trial proceeded, the lawyer was again yelled at by the judge and prosecutor when she argued that her client’s talking to people about the persecution was allowed under her freedom of speech. Her defense was ultimately terminated when she said that the Chinese courts’ charging and sentencing Falun Gong practitioners were based on political reasons rather than the rule of law.
The lawyer protested, “How do you know if my defense is non-related to the case if I haven’t even said it? If my speech has to be approved by you first, and I can only say things you agree with or follow your standard, then we don’t even need lawyers during court trials!”
The judge adjourned the trial without issuing a verdict.
The lawyer filed a complaint against the judge after the trial.
Previous report:Ms. Gu Li and Ms. Qiu Shuping Secretly Sentenced in Dalian City