Court Flouts The Law: 10 Lawyers Refused Permission to
Appear At Trial
13 Falun Gong practitioners were recently
prosecuted in Dalian for installing satellite dishes,
used by local residents to receive NTD Television.
The court didn´t send advance notices
to the lawyers as is legally required.
10 lawyers were refused permission to appear
in court, and the trial has been postponed.
The court involved in the case has openly
flouted the law many times.
The lawyers applied for judicial supervision by
the Procuratorate of Dalian City, but were rejected.
The Procuratorate replied that they reject
all complaints concerning Falun Gong-related cases.
One of the lawyers asked,
“Who exactly is practicing a cult?”
The Court of Xigang District in Dalian
heard the case on June 21.
Three Falun Gong practitioners were too weak to
continue being present at the 12-hour hearing.
Under the lawyers´ strong protests,
the court adjourned the trial until a later date.
On July 3, the lawyers, including Chen Jiangang,
were informed that the trial will continue on July 5.
The lawyers collectively refused to appear in court,
as advance notices of the hearing
should have been given to them three days
before the start of proceedings, according to law.
Lawyer, Chen Jiangang: “They´ve seriously violated
our clients´ rights to organize adequate defense.
Besides this, the court failed to send the lawyers
litigation documents three days in advance.
The collegial panel´s formation also didn´t follow
the relevant regulations.
During the trial, judges even prevented the
court clerk from making complete court records.”
Furthermore, the judge illegally decided to
try the case of two sick Falun Gong practitioners, but separately.
According to law, two options exist when
a case involves too many parties, and when
some defendants have health problems.
The whole case shall be terminated;
or the judge shall decide to terminate
the trial of the sick defendants,
while continuing with those remaining fit to be tried.
Lawyer Chen Jiangang said the court´s action
flouted the Law in this case,
the judge having no right to proceed in this manner.
On July 5, lawyer Chen told NTD that he had just
been informed, that the trial had been postponed.
Lawyer, Chen Jiangang: “They held a meeting
to postpone today´s trial until tomorrow.
These court officers have violated the law
openly and brazenly.
Why did the trial have to be postponed today?
They hadn´t made legal deliveries of
the notices and summonses.
Now they´ve decided to hold the trial tomorrow,
but without sending us any notice or summonses,
in good time, as required by law.
A senior Beijing official has warned them
that this is illegal practice.”
The lawyers didn´t show up at the trial, but brought
an action to sue several judges concerned.
The lawyers have asked the Procuratorate of Dalian City
to exercise legal supervision over the proceedings,
at the time of writing, their request has been
flatly rejected by the Procuratorate.
Chen Jiangang: “Their leader replied that
the case is related to Falung Gong.
He said. 『We』ve never accepted complaints
against cases of this sort.’
This is an overt act against the law,
so who exactly is practicing a cult?
We argued with them for a good while,
and they had no word and run away.”
In the light of the judges´ flagrant breach of the law,
the lawyers have asked for a change of
court to continue the case.
Lawyer Chen Jiangang says that, in the next
proceedings, the lawyers will strive for integrity.
The lawyers will use well the procedural rights to
protect the defendants and themselves, he says.
Lawyer Chen Jiangang: “Citizens have citizen´s rights,
these include rights to conduct litigation.
If these rights are going to be infringed little by little,
then there is no fairness, or justice to speak of.
So we´ve pressured the court, and the procuratorate,
to handle the case in an acceptable and legal manner.”
In July 2012, Dalian´s 610 Office launched massive
abductions of local Falun Gong practitioners.
Local police authorities, police stations and
neighborhood committees joined in the action.
The kidnapping targeted Falun Gong practitioners who had installed satellite dishes for local residents to watch NTDTV.
A group of Falun Gong practitioners were taken
away by the police, their houses were illegally searched.
Over a dozen of them were sent to
another 28 practitioners were
unlawfully arrested in the action.
13 of these Falun Gong practitioners were
prosecuted for being “technical staff".