(Minghui.org) A judge in Xi’an City put a local Falun Gong practitioner on trial without informing her family and sentenced her to four and a half years in prison less than four months later. One of his clerks said in a revealing comment, “Falun Gong cases are submitted to and pre-approved by the intermediate court before being returned to the trial courts to go through the motions.”

Ms. Song Xianlan was arrested on March 21, 2017, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. The local Lianhua District Procuratorate forwarded her case to the Lianhu District Court within about two weeks, which left her family with no time to hire a lawyer.

Ms. Song’s family found out in August that judge Huo Biao had secretly tried her in late July. They immediately hired a lawyer and requested a retrial. A clerk on duty told the lawyer that Huo went on vacation after the hearing. She also revealed that there was no use in trying to secure a retrial “because the outcome of all Falun Gong cases is pre-determined by the local intermediate court.”

Huo convicted Ms. Song on November 12. She is now appealing, and her new lawyer has requested an open hearing.

Huo Biao: +86-29-87627239Lianhu District Court: +86-2987617648

Related Report:Xi'an Court Conducts Secret Trials of Falun Gong Practitioners