Attorney’s Access to Practitioner’s Case Files Repeatedly Blocked
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Xi Guoxiu from Wuhan City was arrested by police from the Huarong District Domestic Security Division on July 12, 2016, while she was visiting a friend in Ezhou City.
The police submitted her case to the Huarong District Procuratorate, but the case was returned twice due to insufficient evidence. The case is currently in the hands of the Procuratorate.
Ms. Xi's attorney visited the Procuratorate six times and tried to gain access to her case documents. However, officials at the Procuratorate's office stalled and found excuses not to provide the documents each time.
Attorney Denied the Right to See Case Documents
Ms. Xi's attorney and her husband went to the Huarong District Procuratorate and requested to review the case documents. The official said the documents were not available since they had been sent to the City Procuratorate for approval.
When they visited the Procuratorate the second and third time, they were told the documents had been returned to the police for further investigation.
The fourth time Ms. Xi's attorney visited, an official at the Procuratorate's office refused to provide the documents to the attorney. He said that Procurator He Yong, who was in charge of the case, was out of town.
Official at Procuratorate Office Lies to Attorney
On April 24, when the attorney requested access to the case documents for the fifth time, the head of the case management section (whose family name is Zhu) claimed that the attorney needed to register at Ezhou City Bureau of Justice in order to see the documents.
Although there is no such requirement according to legal procedure, the attorney called the Bureau of Justice and confirmed this was not necessary. The case management official then claimed that the case had been sent to the City Court for internal review.
The attorney pointed out that this violated legal procedures, because the case had not yet been submitted to the court, and the court should not be allowed to review it.
Officer Zhu then changed his excuse by claiming that the case had actually been sent to the City Procuratorate for internal review. The attorney stated that this did not make sense, because he had been told that the case was sent to the City Procuratorate when he made his request the first time.
The attorney general (whose family name was Zhang) finally agreed to allow the attorney access to the case documents. He was told he could come the next morning.
Attorney Given Limited Access to Documents
When the attorney arrived the next day at 8:30 a.m., he was told that he had to wait until the prosecutor, He Yong, returned from a trial. At 10:30 a.m., a young clerk brought over the documents, but said that the attorney could only read them and was not allowed to make copies or take pictures.
According to Criminal Law Procedure, an authorized attorney is allowed to copy the case materials. However, the clerk insisted, saying that Prosecutor He Yong said they could only copy the documents when the case goes to court.
The attorney complained to the head of the case management section, who told him to call the attorney general to get permission. But the attorney general could not be located.
It was 11:00 a.m., and there were six books to review. The attorney requested time to continue reading in the afternoon, but this was refused by the clerk.
The attorney returned in the afternoon, hoping to gain further access. But he could not reach Prosecutor He Yong via phone, and no one was available at the case management section.