Third Trial in Same Court Ends Up with Same Outcome
(Minghui.org) The Holingole City Court in Inner Mongolia recently tried three local residents separately over the course of three days. Their only “crime” was their practice of Falun Gong, a self-cultivation system being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
All three Falun Gong practitioners were arrested last August for their belief and had each been tried before in the same court twice – first time in mid-December last year and second time in early January this year.
As with the earlier trials, the third trial on January 27-29, 2015 again saw the judges refuse to address defense lawyers' objections to various due process violations committed by people involved in the detention and prosecution of their clients.
In order to stop the judges from moving forward with the hearing, Ms. Li Ping and Ms. Meng Hulun declared an immediate termination of their lawyers' legal representation. The judge then adjourned the two women's trials.
Ms. Jia Haiying suddenly fell and lost consciousness right before she was about to enter the courtroom. She showed symptoms of high blood pressure and heart problems, and was rushed to a hospital. Her trial thus ended even before it got started.
The practitioners' families are requesting the immediate and unconditional release of their loved ones. It is not clear though what the local police and court have in store for the three practitioners.
Ms. Li's Request to Have the People's Assessors Involved Denied
At the trial of Ms. Li on January 27, both she and her lawyers requested to see the people’s assessors on the collegial panel. The judges on the panel turned down their request, despite the fact that the law allows the use of assessors at the defendants' request.
Unable to reach an agreement with Ms. Li's lawyers, presiding judge Bao Hesi called for recess a total of six times. When the judge resumed the session and ordered the prosecutor to read the indictment of Ms. Li, her lawyers again raised objections and challenged the fairness of the trial.
The judge insisted the trial go on. As a way to stop the hearing, Ms. Li and her lawyers terminated their relationship.
Ms. Meng's Lawyer Denied the Right to Visit His Client
At the trial of Ms. Meng on January 29, her lawyer complained about the court's interference with his effort to meet with his client at the detention center.
The court had instructed the detention center to request Ms. Meng's lawyer to produce written approval from the court before being allowed to see his client. The lawyer was then denied visitation rights, as the court never intended to approve his meeting in the first place.
The lawyer thus argued that the court was not qualified to try his client at all. He asked for recusal of the judges and the prosecutor. The collegial panel, however, turned down his request.
As the collegial panel attempted to continue with the trial, Ms. Meng announced her decision to dissolve the relationship with the lawyer. Her termination of legal representation effectively stopped the trial from going forward for the time being.