(Minghui.org) A judge in China recently expressed his reluctance to handle Falun Gong cases. After he adjourned the hearing of a case against a Falun Gong practitioner, he told the practitioner’s relatives that although he doesn’t have the power to make decisions, he will try to help the practitioner however he can.

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

The hearing was supposed to start at 10 a.m. but was delayed for an hour as the court has to pick up the practitioner from the detention center. Before the practitioner arrived, the lawyer had a casual chat with the judge and the prosecutor. The prosecutor mentioned that she received some informational materials and a complaint against her from the practitioner’s relatives, and she wondered whether the judge had received the same. The judge said that he received a thick pile of materials and his phone never stopped ringing with calls from overseas practitioners.

During the hearing, the lawyer entered a not guilty plea for the practitioner. The practitioner also testified in her own defense. She emphasized that practicing Falun Gong is completely legal in China and also mentioned the General Administration of Press and Publication repealed its ban on publication Falun Gong books. The practitioner added that making and distributing Falun Gong materials are legal. She asked the prosecutor how she used a “cult” to undermine law enforcement, as the charge against her stated.

The prosecutor asked the practitioner, “What is your purpose of making those calendars [bearing Falun Gong information]?”

“To save people.”

The judge then reminded the prosecutor to pay attention to her question.

The prosecutor continued to ask, “The calendars that you made and distributed…” The judge interrupted her and told her again to pay attention to her question as the practitioner only made the calendars and didn’t distribute them.

After the hearing ended, the lawyer commented that during most other hearings he attended while representing Falun Gong practitioners, the judge usually wouldn’t allow the lawyer to talk freely. But for this judge, he is quite kind-hearted and didn't allow the prosecutor to put the practitioner in a difficult spot.

When the judge walked out of the court, the practitioner’s relatives and some other Falun Gong practitioners, who were waiting outside the court to bid farewell to the practitioner, went up and talked to him.

The judge explained to the relatives that they weren’t allowed to attend the hearing due to the pandemic and he wasn’t trying to cause trouble for them. He hoped that the relatives wouldn’t bear grudges against him. When other Falun Gong practitioners told the judge not to take on Falun Gong cases, he expressed that he was actually unwilling to handle them.

The judge revealed that he doesn’t have any power to determine the practitioner’s verdict, as it will be determined by higher-ups. But he promised to help the practitioner whenever he can.

The judge also told a Falun Gong practitioner who walked him home that he has received phone calls from practitioners in the United States, urging him not to participate in the persecution.