Three Heilongjiang Residents Tried for Their Faith; Apparently False Evidence Left Unaddressed
(Minghui.org) Three Mishan City, Heilongjiang Province residents appeared in court for the third time on September 30, 2020 for their faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Ms. Wang Yali repeatedly requested an investigation into the fabricated evidence against her, but the presiding judge and the prosecutor insisted that the evidence was valid.
Ms. Wang was arrested at around 2 p.m. on November 8, 2018 in her apartment building by two plainclothes officers when she went out. The officers brought her to a police car and took her keys. They then ransacked her home without her presence and asked her to sign the list of confiscated items.
The other two practitioners, Ms. Wang Shugui and Ms. Sun Jinkui, were arrested on November 9 and 10, 2018, respectively.
The three practitioners’ arrests were part of a police sweep between November 8 and 10 in the Jiguan District. Another seven practitioners were also arrested during the three days, but only the three of them remained in custody and faced prosecution.
Despite Ms. Sun and Ms. Wang Yali not knowing each other, the police combined the three practitioners’ cases and submitted them for a joint trial. The Mishan City Procuratorate indicted the practitioners on July 17, 2019 and moved their cases to the Mishan City Court.
During the first hearing on November 5, 2019, Ms. Sun and Ms. Wang Yali’s lawyers entered a not guilty plea for them. Ms. Wang Shugui’s lawyer entered a guilty plea.
Ms. Wang Yali pointed out that in her case description, the police said she was arrested on November 9, when she was actually arrested on November 8. The police asked her to sign three sheets, listing the confiscated items, but she only signed one that listed her computer and cellphone. She also denied that she had the 230 Falun Gong booklets and 19 bundles of books that the police claimed to have confiscated from her home.
When the two prosecutors presented all three sheets listing confiscation to Ms. Wang, she repeated that she only signed one of them and the signatures on the other two were forged. She demanded a handwriting examination of the signatures. One of the prosecutors laughed and mumbled to herself, “Then I will have to redo the indictment documents.”
At the demand of Ms. Wang’s lawyer, the presiding judge, Zhang Ying, played the video of the police ransacking Ms. Wang’s home. The lawyer pointed out that the video indicated the time frame of the home-raid was between 2:40 and 3:25 p.m., but it was 3:30 to 4:25 p.m. on the case document. Judge Zhang laughed at the lawyer’s comment and said, “It doesn’t matter what time they put on it. It’s just a number.”
In the home-ransacking video, only two officers were present at Ms. Wang's home, but the indictment document indicated seven officers were present. The lawyer requested all seven of them to appear in court to accept cross examination.
The lawyer also followed up with Ms. Wang’s comment that the 230 Falun Gong booklets and 19 bundles of books weren’t hers. He said it was impossible for a small cabinet, where the prosecutor alleged the books were found, to hold that many books. And the home-ransacking video also failed to show the police confiscating the alleged materials.
The lawyer added that the Chinese publication bureau repealed the ban on Falun Gong books and materials in 2011 and there has never been any legal basis for the persecution. He presented examples of courts dismissing Falun Gong cases in recent years and demanded his client's acquittal.
Judge Zhang returned the case to the police for evidence verification before adjourning the hearing.
Two months later, the Mishan City Court held a second hearing on January 9, 2020. Zhang Ying remained the presiding judge, but there were two new prosecutors, who didn’t wear name tags and had no information online about them to verify their identities.
The police claimed that they examined Ms. Wang Yali’s signatures on the confiscation list and concluded that it came from the same person. They also added new home-ransacking videos, which couldn’t be opened on the police’s website. The police also argued that with detailed notes taken during the home-ransacking, there was no need for the witnesses (the seven officers mentioned in the indictment) to appear in court.
When Ms. Wang demanded independent handwriting verification again, one of the new prosecutors appeared to be irritated and shouted at her, “The police had said it was your signature and the materials were found at your home!” She attempted to stop Ms. Wang from talking.
With the lawyer’s repeated requests, the male prosecutor revealed his name as Zhang Jingyi, but the female prosecutor never disclosed her name.
Ms. Wang brought up again the apparent fabrication of evidence against her, including wrong arrest date, forged signature, and the alleged materials. She maintained that she didn’t violate any law and is innocent.
With a raised voice, judge Zhang said to Ms. Wang, “What’s the big deal about the date? If you insist on examining the evidence, I will give you a heavy term, for sure. I don’t know when we can have the next hearing. It could be a long time. We can return the case for evidence examination, if you say so. I have no problem playing that game with you.”
The judge adjourned the one-hour hearing and said she would have the third hearing after the police finished the handwriting verification.
The three practitioners appeared in court for a third time on September 30, 2020. Judge Zhang still refused to address the flawed evidence against the practitioners.
Ms. Wang Yali continued to argue about the police’s having the handwriting examination done by the Jixi City Police Department, rather than a third-party agency. She added that her 3,000 yuan and one cellphone that went missing during her home-ransacking weren’t included in the confiscation list, but judge Zhang accused her of not having supporting evidence.
Judge Zhang quickly adjourned the hearing and said she would discuss the case with the collegiate bench.