Xi'an Court Conducts Secret Trials of Falun Gong Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Huo Biao, a criminal court judge for the Lianhu District Court, X'ian City, Shaanxi Province, has held unlawful trials against Ms. Zhao Yanfeng, Ms. Song Xianlan, Mr. Li Dang, and others who practice Falun Gong.
While their family members hired lawyers to defend the practitioners, Huo circumvented the judicial process by conducting the trials in secret.
Ms. Zhao Yanfeng Secretly Tried
Ms. Zhao Yanfeng was reported to police when she was talking to people about Falun Gong in public on September 15, 2016. Huo Biao set Ms. Zhao’s trial date for some time in February 2017, without informing her family or her lawyer.
Ms. Zhao's attorney was involved in her case from the very beginning. As soon as Ms. Zhao's husband learned that her case had been transferred to the Lianhu District Procuratorate, he notified the attorney. Her attorney immediately went to the Lianhu District Procuratorate to obtain a copy of her case file.
When Ms. Zhao’s attorney went to meet with his client after the Chinese New Year, he learned that Ms. Zhao had already been tried in secret. Her lawyer then went to the Lianhu District Court and met with Judge Huo. He pointed out to the judge that the facts presented in the case were ambiguous, and that the case against Ms. Zhao lacked evidence. He also pointed out that holding a secret trial was against the principles of transparency. An “Urgent Opinion Letter” was submitted by the attorney. He also demanded that the court set another trial date.
Up through this August, neither Ms. Zhao’s attorney nor her family have received any notification of a new trial date. Then on August 2, when the lawyer met with Ms. Zhao, he learned that she had been sentenced to two years on July 22. The attorney then appealed to the upper level court.
When Ms. Zhao's attorney requested to see the verdict, the court refused his request saying that the verdict would only be issued to family members. However, when they tried to get the information from the court, they were told that the verdict would only be issued to the lawyer. Thus far, none of them has seen the illegal verdict.
Ms. Song Xianlan Tried in Secret
Ms. Song Xianlan, from Xi'an City was arrested on March 21, 2017. Her case was quickly transferred from the Lianhu District Procuratorate to the Lianhu District Court, in about a dozen days. This left her very little time to hire a lawyer.
In late July, and without notifying her family, Judge Huo secretly brought Ms. Song to trial.
Mr. Li Dang Illegally Detained Under an Extended Term
Mr. Li Dang from Xi'an City was illegally arrested on March 30, 2016. He was tried on December 1, 2016. His lawyer pleaded not guilty for Mr. Li. The judge didn’t publicly hand down a sentence at that time.
Mr. Li remains imprisoned at the Lianhu Detention Center under an extended term, although his family has demand his release multiple times. The judge in his case was Wu Xiangguo, and the judge in charge of the criminal court was Huo Biao.
Five Falun Gong Practitioners Illegally Sentenced by Huo in 2014
In 2014, Ms. Li Hua, Ms. Jin Rong, Ms. Wang Juanxiu, and Ms. Kou Qiaoyun from Xi'an City, and Mr. Zeng Zhaohua from Hanzhong City were illegally sentenced by the Lianhu District Court to nine, four, four, three, and seven years, respectively. Huo Biao was the deputy judge of the criminal court.
Parties involved in persecuting Ms. Zhao and the other practitioners:Huo Biao (霍彪): +86-29-87627239Intermediate Court Judges: Luo Chengxing (骆成兴), Zhang Yanping (张燕萍), Yuan Bin (袁斌): +86-29-87658229