(Minghui.org) A 70-year-old woman in Fushun City, Liaoning Province made a second court appearance on September 11, 2023 for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.
The trial of Ms. Wang Caiyun, a retired worker of the Longfeng Coalmine, stemmed from her arrest on May 17, 2022. She was released after 15 days of administrative detention, only to be arrested again on March 4, 2023. She has since been held at the Fushun City Detention Center.
The Dongzhou District Court held two hearings of her case at the detention center, with the first one on July 12 and the second one on September 11.
Prosecutor Yang Kun introduced a mysterious witness in the first hearing without calling him (or her) to stand. The witness had a name of Xu Dawei but no other information (such as sex or age) was available. Xu was said to have witnessed the police interrogation of Ms. Wang, and the raid of her home. Xu’s signatures on five different forms all looked different.
During the second hearing, Yang still insisted that Xu, who was not present, was legitimate despite evidence saying otherwise (Ms. Wang’s husband, who was present during the police raid, never saw anyone named Xu at his home).
This is not the first time that Ms. Wang has been targeted for her faith during the past 24 years of the persecution. She has been arrested multiple times and twice given forced labor totaling five years.
Ms. Wang was arrested on May 17, 2022, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong at a fair in Dongzhou District. The arresting officers were Yang Di and Bao Hengxin from the Longfeng Police Station. They asked their newly appointed chief, Liu Dun, what to do next.
Liu said that since the arrest took place in the police station’s jurisdiction, they should establish a case against her. He assigned officers Yang, Cheng Hao, Wang Te, Ma Haotian, Sun Yuanlei, Zhao Bin, and Gu Qiqiang to be in charge of the case.
The assigned officers proceeded to raid Ms. Wang’s home and interrogate her. They did not fill in any names in three boxes on the case filing form, namely, “suspect,” “arresting officers,” and “tipsters.” Instead, they wrote “to be investigated” in each of those three blanks.
Captain Zhang Aiqun and vice captain Zhang Zhe (no relation) of the Dongzhou District Domestic Security Office, which oversees the Longfeng Police Station, issued a certificate to “verify” that the pendants and flyers bearing Falun Gong messages that were confiscated from Ms. Wang during her arrest were “illegal Falun Gong promotional materials.”
Ms. Wang was given 15 days of administrative detention and released on the 16th day. The two captains surnamed Zhang kept monitoring her, and arrested her again at the same local fair on March 4, 2023.
Given Ms. Wang’s previous administrative detention in 2022, the captains established a criminal case against her. They also dispatched officers Jiang Liqiang and Zheng Wang from their subordinate Dongzhou Police Station to raid Ms. Wang’s home.
Jiang and Zheng confiscated three pendants bearing Falun Gong messages, as well ten pieces of paper currency printed with Falun Gong messages (used by practitioners as a way to raise awareness of the persecution). They forced her husband to sign the search warrant and listed him as a prosecution’s witness against his will.
Officers Kang Yunting and Li Sainan of the Fushun City Domestic Security Office “authenticated” the items confiscated from Ms. Wang’s person and home as “illegal propaganda.”
Jiang and Zheng were later tasked with interrogating Ms. Wang. They also approached her local community committee director and asked him about her Falun Gong activities. He only verified that she lived in the community without saying how “active” she was in promoting Falun Gong as the police desired to hear.
The Dongzhou District Procuratorate issued a formal arrest warrant for Ms. Wang on March 10, 2023 and indicted her months later.
Mysterious “Xu Dawei”
While the police listed Ms. Wang’s husband as an unwilling prosecution witness, they also had a mysterious person named “Xu Dawei” listed as the other witness. The name of “Xu Dawei” appeared on five different forms as a witness that had seen the interrogation of Ms. Wang and the confiscation of her three pendants and banknotes from her home.
The signatures of “Xu Dawei,” however, appeared to be from five different persons on the five forms.
The Dongzhou District Court held a hearing on July 12, 2023. Ms. Wang’s family and friends were not allowed inside the courtroom. Only her lawyer and son (as a family defender) were there to defend her innocence in practicing and spreading information about Falun Gong.
Prosecutor Yang Kun first presented three pieces of evidence to verify Ms. Wang’s identity, address, and her arrest, including a testimonial from Ms. Wang’s local community committee director that she did live in that community; a black and white photo of Ms. Wang walking alone; and the case filing form filled out following her arrest in 2022 (even though the form didn’t spell out the names of the suspect, the arresting officers, or the tipsters).
Yang next brought up Ms. Wang’s administrative detention in 2022. He said that by law those who served administrative detention within two years of latest arrest must face criminal prosecution. He, however, couldn’t say which law it was when challenged by Ms. Wang’s lawyer.
Also listed as prosecution evidence were the three pendants and the ten banknotes printed with Falun Gong messages that were confiscated from Ms. Wang’s home following her arrest on March 4, 2023. Yang said these indicated that Ms. Wang had engaged in “illegal activities.” Ms. Wang’s lawyer and son refuted that no enacted law criminalizes Falun Gong or labels it a cult, and as such it was perfectly lawful for her to own Falun Gong related items, including flyers, pendants, and banknotes printed with Falun Gong messages.
Yang said that Ms. Wang’s husband’s signature on the search warrant indicated that he had testified against her. Ms. Wang’s lawyer countered that no one should be forced to testify against any suspect and that the police had broken the law by listing Ms. Wang’s husband as a prosecution’s witness against his will.
Despite the obviously different signatures of Xu Dawei on five different forms, Yang claimed that the signatures indicated that an independent, third party, namely, Xu, had witnessed the police’s interrogation of Ms. Wang and the raid of her home.
Xu, however, was not present in court to accept cross examination, and there was no mention at all of his (or her) gender, age, profession, or other required information. Additionally, the police video showing the raid of Ms. Wang’s home did not show any “Xu Dawei” being there.
Prosecutor Yang could not refute Ms. Wang’s lawyer and son, and the court adjourned the hearing.
During the second hearing on September 11, 2023, prosecutor Yang presented “new” evidence saying that Xu Dawei was indeed a witness to the police raid of Ms. Wang’s home. The new evidence was testimony from officers Jiang and Zeng who carried out the raid.
Yang also explained that Xu did not appear in the police video simply because of the angle of the camcorder, which failed to capture him (or her) in the video.
Ms. Wang’s lawyer objected to the new evidence and argued that the court had never notified him and Ms. Wang’s son (family defender) of the new evidence. By law, new evidence introduced by either side (prosecutor or defense) must be shared with the other party in advance so they have time to prepare a response in court.
Yang said he had secured the court’s approval to gather new evidence, but the judge failed to produce Yang’s application or approval when the lawyer requested to see them. The lawyer warned that he may sue both the judge and Yang for colluding in his client’s prosecution.
Ms. Wang’s son reiterated again that Xu could not have been the witness to the police raid because only three people were present during the police raid, including his father (Ms. Wang’s husband) and officers Jiang and Zheng.
Ms. Wang’s son said his father was in the audience and could testify. Yang said no, because a court spectator could not be a witness at the same time.
The judge rejected the request to authenticate Xu Dawei’s signatures even though they looked different on different forms. The judge also denied Ms. Wang’s son’s request again to call Xu to the stand to see who he (or she) really was.
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