(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, a Chaoyang Intermediate People's Court judge in Liaoning Province publicly ordered a lawyer to follow his directions on how to defend a client, and even told the lawyer to ask questions based solely on his orders. When the lawyer insisted on defending his client properly and entered a plea of not guilty, the judge became infuriated and shouted, “Remove him from the courtroom!”

Cao Xuechang is the deputy judge of the Second Criminal Court, under the Chaoyang Intermediate People's Court. The case in question concerned Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Pingzhen appealing her five-year prison sentence.

Ms. Wang from Chaoyang was arrested on June 9, 2011, by Hu Xiaochuan and Tian Feng of the Chaoyang Public Security Bureau because she practiced Falun Gong. She was then taken to the Chaoyang Detention Center. On October 18, 2011—over four months after her arrest—the Longcheng Court sentenced her to five years in prison.

Longcheng Court officials claimed that they'd conducted a meeting prior to sentencing. The officials received multiple phone calls demanding that Ms.Wang be released. Director Wang Xue and vice president Xia Weiguo announced: “We cannot handle this case. Too many people have called about this, so it must be important.” They referred the case to the Chaoyang 610 Office, which subsequently ordered the five-year prison sentence for Ms. Wang.

Ms. Wang appealed, and on February 6, 2012, the case was transferred from Longcheng Court to the Chaoyang Intermediate People's Court, and she was assigned a lawyer.

On February 10, 2012, Chaoyang Intermediate People's Court judge Cao Xuechang contacted Ms. Wang's lawyer and said, “You should submit your defense, since we won't conduct a trial. Our head officials said that we need to make a decision before the 20th.” The lawyer responded, “You can't overturn the law with this order; that is illegal. The trial must be held according to the law.” Cao Xuechang realized his error and agreed to meet with the lawyer.

On February 24, Ms. Wang's lawyer met with Cao Xuechang in the conference room on the second floor of Chaoyang Intermediate People's Court. The court clerk recorded the conversation. As a result of the one-hour meeting, Cao Xuechang agreed to allow the hearing to take place.

On the morning of February 28, Chaoyang Intermediate People's Court convened the trial in the West Dayingzi Kitayama Courtroom. Approximately 20 representatives of Ms. Wang's family and friends were in attendance.

Throughout the lawyer's defense, Cao Xuechang appeared extremely nervous and fearful; he even spoke incoherently at times. At one point, he said, “You may practice Falun Gong, but only at home.” Later, he retracted his previous statement, “The government (Chinese Communist Party, or CCP) doesn't allow the Falun Gong practice, therefore, you must stop.” The judge then tried to intimidate the lawyer, ordering him to defend his client in accordance with his intentions. The judge ordered the lawyer to speak exactly as the judge said he should; the judge even had to approve any questions for the victim.

The lawyer responded, “I want to defend my client appropriately and enter a 'not guilty' plea.” Judge Cao Xuechang became infuriated and shouted, “He promotes Falun Gong! Remove him from the court!” Several police officers forced the lawyer out of the courtroom, then threatened to beat him. They searched him, and one officer confiscated his briefcase. The lawyer returned to the court to retrieve his briefcase and documents, which were reluctantly returned to him.

Chaoyang Intermediate People's Court is responsible for several recent inappropriate activities. The following is another example, this one concerning four innocent farmers from Chaoyang County in Liaoning Province.

Shi Xiuqing, Lu Guifen, Zhuguo Tian, and daughter Zhu Ping from Liujiazi, Chaoyang County, explained the facts about Falun Gong to their neighbors. On May 23, 2011, Chaoyang County Public Security Bureau officers arrested them. Public Security Bureau officials, the Procuratorate, and court officials colluded on the case and sentenced the four to prison terms. Lu Guifen was sentenced to eight years, Zhu Ping for five years, Shi Xiuqing for four years, and Zhu Guotian for three years. They all appealed their sentences. However, the Intermediate People's Court of Chaoyang quickly reviewed their appeals on January 18, 2012, and upheld the original sentences.